Spencer Frederick Gore painted this scene of the West Pier in Brighton during a holiday in the town in 1913.

The view across the gardens and beach is seen from the balcony of a house in Brunswick Square owned by Gore’s friend, Walter Taylor.

Gore trained at the Slade School of Fine Art, where he became influenced by English Impressionism. He later travelled in France, where he met Walter Sickert and Lucien Pissarro, and became familiar with the work of Paul Gauguin and Paul Cézanne. The modernising influence of French art led to a greater Expressionism in his work, seen here in the visible brushstrokes, bright colours and blocky forms of The West Pier, Brighton.

Gore included this painting in the exhibition of work by the Camden Town Group which he organised at Brighton Art Gallery in December 1913. The show was described by a local newspaper as ‘far and away the most challenging thing of the kind that Brighton has ever seen’.

The West Pier, Brighton is one of the last pictures Gore painted before his death in March 1914, and is considered one of his masterpieces. It now joins the collection of The Royal Pavilion & Museums in Brighton, returning to the place where it was painted and first shown more than 100 years ago.


The artist; by descent to his family; sold through Anthony d Offay Gallery to Mellon Bank, Pittsburgh, 1983; with Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert, London; sold to a private collection, England, 2010.

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