John Brett, ‘Massa, Bay of Naples’, 1864, Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Indianapolis Museum of Art Accession Number: 64.14, Indianapolis Museum of Art Object Type: Visual Works: Paintings

Image rights: Image provided by Indianapolis Museum of Art

James E. Roberts Fund

About John Brett

Associated with the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, English painter John Brett rejected the mechanistic style of mid-19th century art in a return to the sincerity of the Early Renaissance. Brett became a student of the Royal Academy at age 22, although he was ultimately more influenced by the ideas of the Pre-Raphaelites (who opposed the tradition of the school), with whom he became involved with after meeting a founder, William Holman Hunt. In addition, Brett followed the ideas of the art critic John Ruskin, whose “Modern Painters” essay championed the central focus of the artist as “truth to nature” and had a dramatic impact on his work. Brett is known for his marine paintings—panoramic scenes likened to Italian seascapes—that depict the ocean and surrounding formations of rock with meticulous accuracy and luminosity.

English, December 8, 1831 - January 7, 1902, Surrey, United Kingdom, based in London, United Kingdom