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.