Drawing on a wealth of unpublished sketchbooks, journals, and writings, this essential guide to John Brett (1831–1902) investigates the painter who was seen as the leader of the Pre-Raphaelite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-known 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 astronomy, his love of the sea, and his lifelong pursuit of wealth and recognition are all examined in this reassessment, which concludes with a catalogue raisonné of his works, prepared by his descendent Charles Brett.
"The work of Victorian painter John Brett is very appealing. . . . Brett long has been in need of the kind of scholarly reassessment presented here. . . . This is an attractive and valuable addition to the literature on 19th-century British art. Highly recommended."—W. S. Rodner, Choice~W. S. Rodner, W. S. Rodner