Information

Brett was a skilful watercolourist, although exhibiting little in this medium. 'February in the Isle of Wight' is an exception, having been shown at the Birmingham Society of Artists in 1866. Here he evokes a clear spring-like landscape, with a wonderfully delicate handling of the tree branches. The two children almost seem to dissolve into their surrounddings. Instead, as described by Stephen Wildman, it is 'the suffused light bathing the whole vista which gives this work its striking character' This watercolour originally had a pendant entitled: 'Autumn in the isle of Wight'.

With its bright, sharp colours and intense detail, this watercolour typifies the Pre-Raphaelite approach to landscape. As a student Brett had been deeply affected by the work of the Pre-Raphaelites and by the writings of John Ruskin, who had urged artists to 'go to Nature in all singleness of heart, ...rejecting nothing, selecting nothing, and scorning nothing'. After Brett exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1858, Ruskin championed his work.

  • Presented by Herbert Martin, 1919.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

Makers

Association Artist Organisation
Artist John Brett -

Inscriptions

Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
John Brett 1866
Signature and date bottom right Painted 1866
 

Exhibitions

Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Spring Exhibition
87 Royal Society of British Artists 1866 - 1866
 
-
216 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1891 - 1891
 
The Victorian Romantics
139 Leicester Galleries, London 1949 - 1949
 
Paintings and Drawings by the Pre-Raphaelites and their Followers
10 Russell-Coates Gallery, Bournemouth 1951 - 1951
 
-
- All Saints Passage, Cambridge 1953-04 - 1953-04
- Kidderminster 1955 - 1955
- Fennoy Art Gallery, Kings Lynn 1964 - 1964
 
-
- All Saints Passage, Cambridge 1953-04 - 1953-04
- Kidderminster 1955 - 1955
- Fennoy Art Gallery, Kings Lynn 1964 - 1964
 
-
- All Saints Passage, Cambridge 1953-04 - 1953-04
- Kidderminster 1955 - 1955
- Fennoy Art Gallery, Kings Lynn 1964 - 1964
 
Artists of Victoria's England
7 Cummer Gallery of Art, Jacksonville, Florida 1965-02 - 1965-03
 
-
113 Tokyo 1967 - 1967
 
-
46 Turin, Italy 1969-06 - 1969-08
 
British Watercolours and Drawings: From Rowlandson to Riley
72 Peking (Beijing), China 1982-03 - 1982-06
72 Shenyang 1982 - 1982
72 Hong Kong 1982 - 1982
72 Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh 1982-08-20 - 1982-09-12
 
Ruskin and the English Watercolour: From Turner to the Pre-Raphaelites
117 Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 1988-04-07 - 1988-05-13
117 Holburne of Menstrie Museum, Bath 1989-05-26 - 1989-05-13
117 Bankside Gallery, London 1989-08-10 - 1989-09-10
 
British Watercolours from Birmingham: 150 Outstanding Works from the Permanent Collection of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
102 Tokyo Station Gallery 1991-06-01 - 1991-07-07
102 Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu 1991-07-12 - 1991-08-18
102 Daimaru Museum, Umeda (Osaka) 1991-08-21 - 1991-09-02
102 Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art, Kofu 1991-09-07 - 1991-10-20
102 Bankside Gallery, London 1992-01-22 - 1992-03-01
102 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1992 - 1992
 
Victorian Landscape Watercolours
64 Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven 1992-09-09 - 1992-11-01
64 Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio 1992-11-18 - 1993-01-03
64 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1992-09 - 1993-04
 
Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection, England
82 Seattle Art Museum 1995-03-09 - 1995-05-07
82 Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio 1995-05-27 - 1995-07-16
82 Delaware Art Museum 1995-08-11 - 1995-10-15
82 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 1995-11-04 - 1996-01-02
82 High Museum of Art, Atlanta 1996-01-23 - 1996-04-10
82 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1996-05-25 - 1996-09-29
 
L'Age d'Or de l'Aquarelle Anglaise 1770-1900
144 Fondation de l'Hermitage, Lausanne 1999-01-22 - 1999-05-24
 
Victorian Watercolours
- Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 2005-12-20 - 2006-04-23
 

Literature

Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
Pre-Raphaelite Drawings and Watercolours
1953 Arts Council of Great Britain p. 5
 
The Pre-Raphaelites
Timothy Hilton 1970 Thames and Hudson, London p.122
 
The Pre-Raphaelite Landscape
Allen Staley 1973 - p.135
 
British Watercolours and Drawings: From Rowlandson to Riley
1982 British Council p.39, 72
 
Fifty Watercolours from Birmingham
1987 - 35
 
Ruskin and the English Watercolour: From Turner to the Pre-Raphaelites
1989 Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester p.70, pl.117
 
British Watercolours from Birmingham: 150 Outstanding Works from the Permanent Collection of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
1991 Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery pl. 102
 
Victorian Landscape Watercolours
1992 Yale Centre for British Art p.128, pl.64
 
Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection, England
Stephen Wildman 1995 Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia p.250, pl.82
 
L'Age d'Or de l'Aquarelle Anglaise 1770-1900
William Hauptman 1999 Fondation de l'Hermitage, Lausanne p.208, 144

Associated places

Name Type
Isle of Wight, Great Britain Depicted

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