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The Metropole Hotel from the West Pier 23-john-piper-metropole-hotel-from-the-west-pier.jpg

The Metropole Hotel from the West Pier

Item Code: JP-23-u
Hand coloured etching with aquatint
Brighton Aquatints
Date of Work
Height (cm)
Cat Rais No
Levinson 23
Edition Size
Width (cm)
From the Brighton Aquatints suite. Hand coloured edition of 55.

Notes by the artist: The Metropole Hotel from the West Pier.

The Metropole and the Grand are two enormous hotels that change the whole nature of the part of Brighton front between the two piers. But it is only a change from jollity to frivolity. Old prints hung in the Pavilion show the Regency houses that were swept away to make room for these giants. The Metropole (which occupies the centre place in this aquatint, with the Grand disappearing out of the picture on the right) is dark, lurid red, with fanciful porches, balconies, roofs and chimneys - with a good del of cast iron in its construction. To see it best, go along the pier and and look back across the strip to the sea. From here on the right day big waves will be washing away from you towards the Metropole as if they intend to swamp it. A heavy shower may just be over, and dark clouds may hang behind, to provide a sombre backcloth for this extraordinary inanimate stage turn.
John Piper PortraitJohn Piper was born at Epsom in Surrey, 1903. Following his father’s wishes, he spent 5 years in the family law firm before pursuing art, firstly at Richmond School of Art and then at the Royal College of Art. In the 1930s Piper exhibited abstract pictures and constructions, then reverted to creating landscape and architectural images, developing the picturesque style that features in his later work.

Piper experimented with printmaking from as early as 1923 when he produced four wood engravings. Piper’s prints embody his love of Britain through their depiction of its art, architecture and topography. However frequently underpinning their design, as the artist Rigby Graham has indicated, are the elements of collage, construction and assemblage that featured in his modernist work of the early 1930s.
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