• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7594

    Victorian and Traditionalist Pictures

    5 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 12

    John Brett, A.R.A. (1830-1902)

    Polpeer Cove, The Lizard, Cornwall

    Price Realised  


    John Brett, A.R.A. (1830-1902)
    Polpeer Cove, The Lizard, Cornwall
    inscribed and dated 'Polpeor [sic]/Aug 1876' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    10 x 19 in. (25.5 x 48 cm.)

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    In 1876 John Brett and his family hired Penolver Cottage at Beast Point on the Lizard for the length of the summer. Arriving in early July, the following months were a great success, with the artist producing highly evocative views of the surrounding Cornish coast. The view he depicted here looks west of Polpeer Cove, the southernmost point of the Lizard, with the Stags in the distance; the fact that the picture is not more precisely dated indicates that it was painted over a period of several days. Brett, who Ruskin praised as 'one of my keenest-minded friends', painted another sketch looking east from the same spot on 8 August 1876 (illustrated in C. Brett, M. Hickox, & C. Payne John Brett: A Pre-Raphaelite in Cornwall,Samson and Co., 2006, p.85).

    We are grateful to Charles Brett for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.

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    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Mrs William Harris, by 1894.
    with Christopher Wood, London.


    Detailed painting notes for this picture are in Brett Sketchbook 45 in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.


    Birmingham Exhibition of British Marine Artists, 1894, no. 94 (lent by Mrs William Harris)