Thursday, October 20, 2011
John Brett - Hills of Argyll
inscribed and dated 'Hills of Argyll 23 Aug 85' (upper right) and inscribed 'Received of Basil Woodd-Smith Esq the/sum of..... - the price of/my sketch No.29 of the 1885 series/"Argyll Paradise",(being the original sketch/for my picture now in the R.Academy "an Argyll/Eden" 19 x 10 inches on canvas./John Brett/28 May 1886/Garracoch nr Oban' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
10 x 19 in. (25.5 x 48.2 cm.)
On 22 July 1885 John Brett set sail from Gosport in his schooner Viking, bound for Oban on the coast of Argyll. He arrived on 2 August, and dropped anchor in Ardentrive Bay, at the north end of Kerrera Island, just across the sound from Oban town. The artist's entry for 23 August in the Viking log (Private Collection) describes the events of that day:
'Very fine day with the least possible northerly air. I took a 19 x 10 canvas in the Punt and with Michael [his eldest son] for companion and some sandwiches for lunch rowed down the sound of Kerrera and went ashore at the Ferry slip on the Island side. Hauled punt up on the slip & made her fast to a ring. Set off to walk towards the castle at the S end of the Island. The scene across the sound from the bay of the black buoy was extremely beautiful where there is a big house in a wooded dell the hills having fine bastions after the fashion of Skye all perfectly feasible to paint. Some way further on things not improving we walked back to this spot and settled to a sketch. The flies were extremely annoying. Michael bathed and got some cockles. This sketch promises well for a large picture. A stray German passed us and gave me a fill of nice Turkish Baccy.'
We are grateful to Charles Brett for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.