Fishing Boats off Brighton, 19th century

This oil painting by Walter Jenner shows fishing boats off the coast of Brighton. It was painted in the 1800s but we don’t know the precise date.

Which pier?

If you look in the background of this painting you can see a pier. However, Brighton had three piers during the 19th century: the Chain Pier, the West Pier and the Palace Pier.

Which one do you think it is?

Answer

It’s the West Pier.

The Palace Pier didn’t open until 1899 so it only just made an appearance in that century.

The Chain Pier survived until 1896 but it had a distinctive set of towers that aren’t visible here.

Further confirmation can be seen on the right of the painting. The entrance of the West Pier is directly opposite Regency Square. Follow the line of the pier across the painting and you can see it meets the land at a point where we can glimpse the recessed square between the buildings.

 

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