Sea-bathing in Brighton

The Art of Sea-Bathing

Tuesday 23rd February 2021


The story of how fashionable society took to our beaches to embrace the health-giving properties of the sea. In the eighteenth century some doctors advocated the drinking of seawater as part of the seawater cure, a practice which did not last. While dipping in the sea continued to grow in popularity, leading to seawater bath houses being built in coastal resorts for the luxury of warm bathing, seawater was also pumped into hotels, houses and swimming pools or in some places could be delivered to your lodging house. Artist were drawn to the coast by dramatic weather and the effect of light on the colours of seascapes, as were early photographers setting up their studios close to the seafront. Illustrated with paintings, engravings, prints and early photography, this lecture looks at the history of our sea bathing heritage, its legacy, and a nation’s continuing love of the seaside.