- Also known as
primary name: Brett, John
other name: Brett, John Edward
- individual; painter/draughtsman; printmaker; British; Male
- Life dates
- Painter and watercolourist, and occasional etcher; Associate Royal Academician.
Brett's reputation rests on a few landscapes painted in the 1850s, especially 'The Glacier of Rosenlaui' (1856, Tate Gallery), 'The Stonebreaker' (1856-7, Birmingham) and 'The Val d'Aosta' (1857, private collection): extraordinary tours de force which carry to its ultimate limit the Ruskinian principle that the artist's duty is to portray nature exactly as she is, adding nothing and subtracting nothing. The strain of the intense concentration required proved too much for Brett, whose later paintings, often of seashore subjects, tend to be dry and pedantic.
- R K Engen, 'Dictionary of Victorian Engravers, Print Publishers and Their Works', 1979
Allen Staley, ''Some Watercolours by John Brett', Burlington Mag., CXV, no. 839, Feb. 1973, pp. 86-93.
Allen Staley, 'The Pre-Raphaelite Landscape', 1973 (1st ed.), 2001 (2nd ed.), Ch. 10
Christiana Payne, with Charles Brett and Mike Hickox, 'John Brett in Cornwall', Sansom & Co, 2006.
Christiana Payne, 'Objects of Affection: Pre-Raphaelite Portraits by John Brett', Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham and FAS, London 2010
Christiana Payne, 'John Brett, Pre-Raphaelite Landscape Painter', Yale, 2010