Drawing on a wealth of unpublished sketchbooks, journals, and writings, this essential guide to John Brett (1831-1902) investigates the painter who was seen as the leader of the Pre-Raphaelite landscape school. In addition to exploring the familiar early works, including The Val d'Aosta and Stonebreaker, it provides rich information on his later, less-kwn coastal and marine paintings. Brett's turbulent friendship with John Ruskin is discussed, as are his relations with his beloved sister, Rosa, and his partner Mary, with whom he had seven children. His fervent interest in astromy, his love of the sea, and his lifelong pursuit of wealth and recognition are all examined in this reassessment, which concludes with a catalogue raisonne of his works, prepared by his descendent Charles Brett.
Christiana Payne is a Reader in the History of Art at Oxford Brookes University. She coedited Prospects for the Nation: Recent Essays in British Landscape, 1750-1880.