Mount Etna from Taormina, Sicily
Date Made/Found: about 1870
, British, 1830 - 1902
Material and Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Frame: 1115 x 1532 x 121mm
Department: Visual Art
John Brett painted the volcano Mount Etna in Sicily while he was on an expedition there to observe a solar eclipse. He was fascinated by nature, in particular geology, and stayed to observe Etna's eruptions long after the rest of the expedition had returned home.
His direct study of nature shows the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Although not a member of the Brotherhood, Brett adopted many of their techniques to create paintings that combined luminous colours with close observation.
He described how he had ‘watched the mountain at all hours of the day for a week past, in hopes of getting a correct outline for pictorial purposes.’