Frederick Loeser commissioned Brett to paint his wife Mathilde. Many other artists wished to paint her for her striking looks and her, “wild bush of grey hair and strange and picturesque beauty.” The dove’s wing echoes the outline of her skirt and the dove is a repeated motif in the mosaic brooch on her shoulder.
Lady with a Dove: Madame Loeser
61 x 45.7 cm
Date of work
Born in Surrey, at age 20 Brett took art lessons with John Duffield Harding then attended the Royal Academy School. Heavily influenced by Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites, he adopted Holman Hunt’s ideal of scientific landscape painting and produced images of minute and brilliant detail. Ruskin was impressed and encouraged Brett to infuse his work with moral and religious themes. This caused Brett to lose his popularity and his later works were predominantly seascapes overworked with repetitive detail, meaning he died virtually unknown.