In just a few years of painting, he made two of the major Pre-Raphaelite landscapes, but died of dysentery in Cairo at the age of only 35.
Painted entirely in front of the motif, and in fine detail, Brett followed Ruskin’s rules for landscape paintings, but this was rejected by the Royal Academy.
After training in Belgium, he painted a series of narrative works, then a finely detailed landscape of a view over London. Success eluded him.
Named after the artist and poet, he was precious, and went on to be a very successful portraitist. Here some of his narrative and other works.
Great Pre-Raphaelite women didn’t stand behind their partners, but in front of them, as their muses and models. Masterpieces with two stories to tell.
How one critic established the success of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, but set its landscape painters an impossible challenge.
Why did the Pre-Raphaelites want to return to the ‘purity’ of painting before Raphael? Did they succeed?
The vital relationship between painter and patron, donor, dealer and others. Shown in examples from Rubens, Velázquez, Brett, Renoir and Bonnard.
His four best paintings viewed in their historical context, and consideration of the constraints that he painted under. What if?
He became the most influential critic of painting in Britain, providing the Pre-Raphaelites with strong support. But that proved capricious, and eventually destructive to landscape painting.