Sketch on the South Coast of Guernsey
Oil on board; signed; and dated July 25 '74, titled verso
6¼ x 13¼ inches
In the late summer and autumn of 1874, the Brett family went to Guernsey for the annual ‘painting campaign’. By 1871 Brett was using ‘double square’ 7 x 14 inch prepared millboards for oil sketches made directly from nature. They were painted quickly on location, and seldom retouched. Once finished, they were transported in a portable case, specifically designed to accommodate them.
This is a study for On the Coast of Guernsey of 1875 (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery). There is evidence here that Brett was a master of the so- called ‘wet white ground’ technique employed by the Pre-Raphaelites, particularly Millais, whereby, working quickly, thin colour was applied to still wet underpaint so that the two mixed on the surface. The sea in the middle ground is a vivid colour, characteristic of the process.