The Land’s End, Cornwall

The Land's End, Cornwall or The Black East Wind,1880
John Brett 1831–1902
Oil on canvas
BORGM 00356
Image © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

Balcony  Pre-Raphaelite 

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The Land’s End, Cornwall was painted on a yachting tour around the southwest coast. The inscription on the painting identifies the location as ‘The Black Coast’. This small picture exemplifies Brett’s close attention to detail. The minutely observed rocks that dominate the foreground adhere to writer, philosopher, art critic John Ruskin’s principle of truth to nature.

John Brett was born in 1831 and was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy. His early work was strongly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement and he was well acquainted with members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Brett was always keen to stress the scientific precision of his rendering of nature, but often infused it with moral and religious significance, as recommended by Ruskin. In his later years he painted more coastal subjects and seascapes.


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