Sunset off Lundy Island by John Brett. Oil on canvas, 24 x 48 inches. Signed. Courtesy the Maas Gallery, London. Provenance: Alfred Morrison 1872; Christie's 17 June 1899 (lot 108);v bought by Sampson for 52 guineas; [?]Robinson, Fisher & Harding 11 October 1928 (lot 21); bt M. R. L. White for £15-4-6; Sir Philip Sassoon Bt MP; Hugh Handley-Pegg; thence by descent. Click on image to enlarge it.

Maas Gallery Commentary

Brett, ever versatile and observant, was master of both minute detail and general effect, sometimes in the same picture. This painting is handled broadly to capture the fleeting moment of sunset at the end of a bright and breezy day’s sailing off Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel. Painted in 1872, the picture is based upon sketches made in September 1867. The yacht, a gaff ketch, is heading south-east, probably to the harbour at Appledore for the night, about 20 miles away. Brett painted it for his best patron, Alfred Morrison of Fonthill, who owned several other paintings by Brett, of which the largest and most important was Christmas Morning 1866 (Russell-Cotes Art Gallery, Bournemouth). The picture’s pair, Dawn off Lundy Island, also Morrison’s, has been missing since 1899.

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Created 13 June 2022