Lot 2
  • 2

JOHN BRETT, A.R.A. | Cockle Fishers at Gravelines

7,000 - 10,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • John Brett
  • Cockle Fishers at Gravelines
  • incised l.r.: Gravelines/ 4 July 96
  • oil on canvas
  • 18 by 35.5cm., 7 by 14in.


The artist’s studio sale, Christie’s, London, 15 February 1902, lot 62, where bought by ‘McLean’;
Rev. W. Waite;
Christie’s, 23 January 1904, lot 124, bought by ‘Collings’;
Bonhams, London, 6 August 1964, lot 103;
G. Welby-Everard;
Knight, Frank & Rutley, London, 29 June 1967, lot 16;
Sotheby’s, London, 29 May 1968, lot 153;
Norman Bragg;
Maas Gallery, London where purchased by Lord Dayton and thence to his niece in 2003


Christiana Payne and Charles Brett, John Brett – Pre-Raphaelite Landscape Painter, 2010, p.175, p.240, cat.no.1461, illustrated p.175

Catalogue Note

In 1896 John Brett and his wife Mary went to Paris, the first time the artist had been abroad since 1870. After attending the Salon in Paris where one of John Brett’s paintings was exhibited, the Bretts travelled along the Normandy coast but little of interest inspired him. However one painting from this holiday is this delightful scene painted on the beach at Gravelines, which is unusual for depicting so many lively figures catching shrimps and gathering cockles. As has been noted; ‘The deep purple of the sky contrasts effectively with the pale sand, where the reflections in the sandpools are freely and fluently painted. This sketch, and some other works surviving from this year, show that Brett was experimenting with a modified form of Impressionism in his last years…’ (Christiana Payne and Charles Brett, John Brett – Pre-Raphaelite Landscape Painter, 2010, p.175)