Painting of Fylingdales Moor and never-seen-before Staithes Group work up at auction at Scarborough salerooms - here's when

A view of Fylingdales Moor looking towards Whitby by the pre-Raphaelite landscape artist John Brett is among the highlights of a spectacular Autumn Art Sale being staged by auctioneers David Duggleby next week.

By Duncan Atkins
Friday, 10th September 2021, 10:15 am
Updated Friday, 10th September 2021, 10:18 am

Brett developed a passion for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood whilst he was a student at the Royal Academy Schools in the 1850s - and not just for its artistic ideas.

Brett fell for Christina Rossetti, the poet sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, one of the founding members of the group.

Sadly, his feelings were not reciprocated.

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A view of Fylingdales Moor looking towards Whitby by Pre-Raphaelite landscape artist John Brett.

Christina not only turned down his proposal of marriage but rather cruelly rammed the message home in a poem ‘No Thank you John’, that was published in her first collection of verse.

For his part, Brett immediately stopped work on a portrait of Christina and it was never finished - although he kept it until his death in 1902.

The Pre-Raphaelite take on ‘scientific landscape painting’ proposed that scenes should be dramatically lit, highly detailed and deliver a precise rendition of nature – all things to be seen

in Brett’s 1890 painting of Fylingdales Moor.

Auctioneer David Duggleby said: “The picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1891 and was bought by WA Pye, an art collector, for a hundred pounds.

"It remained in the Pye family for the next hundred years before being sold in a London auction in the early 1990s and eventually being acquired by the current vendor, an East Yorkshire collector.

“There has been a strong surge of interest in Brett’s work in the last 20 years from museums, galleries, academic institutions and the art market.

"That attention has been reflected in auction results.

"Fylingdales Moor is a very striking painting and we think it should make at least £7,000-£9,000.”

Meanwhile the auction, on Friday September 17, also has another impressive of entry of paintings by members of the Staithes Group, the artist colony that grew up around the North

Yorkshire fishing community in the late Victorian period.

Mr Duggleby said: “We have become the go-to auction room for anyone looking to sell Staithes Group pictures.

"The 40-plus Staithes lots included in this auction have come from all over the country.

"They include collections of the work of Hirst Walker, Owen Bowen and Frank Henry Mason that come via direct artist family descent.

"These paintings have never been seen on the market before.

“We also have the partial studio collection of Paul Paul, one of the rarer members of the Staithes Group.

"Paul exhibited at the Royal Academy over many years but he was not prolific and to have 12 of his paintings going under the hammer in the same auction is we think unique.

"The pictures also include a self portrait, which is incredibly rare.”

In total the auction extends to 253 paintings.

The catalogue is available on the Internet at with viewing sessions at the Vine Street Salerooms in Scarborough are Tuesday September 14 to Thursday September 16.

The auction starts at 11am on Friday (Sep 17) and is to be webcast, with online bidding through DD Live and