Both Turner and Constable painted pictures of the Chain Pier in Brighton. Built in 1823, it was a new structure in 1828 and was a symbol of Brighton’s modernity, bustling trade and tourism. Turner painted this version for the Earl of Egremont for his home at Petworth, Sussex.
Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Chain Pier, Brighton
71 x 136.5 cm
Date of work
Oil paint on canvas 71 x 136.5 cm
Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in London; he remained a Londoner and kept a Cockney accent all his life despite dominating British landscape painting throughout the first half of the 19th century. He established a reputation in the Royal Academy, first as a topographical watercolourist and then within a few years as a painter of sublime and historical landscapes. From the mid-1790s he settled on the routine he maintained for much of his life: touring in summer and working in the studio in the winter months. He opened his own gallery and had many patrons and admirers as well as detractors. After his death a large body of his works in oil and watercolour was given to the British nation, with many on show at Tate Britain.