Comprising works created between 1920 and 1945, this private collection covered the greater part of the artist’s printmaking practice. Born in Birmingham in 1890, Brockhurst showed promising signs of his artistic talent while very young: the then headmaster of the Birmingham School of Art even announced he had discovered ”a young Botticelli”. It was there that he encountered the work of the Pre-Raphaelite painters which, alongside his interest in the Italian Renaissance masters, would provide an ample source of inspiration for the formation of his style.
Gerald Brockhurst was one of the most successful and expensive portrait painters in London during his lifetime, but he was also an highly skilled draughtsman and etcher. At a time when the market for contemporary etching was growing, he quickly mastered the technique and published his first prints in 1920 (Mélisande, The Mirror, Henry Rushbury, and Yolande, among others from this early series, are included in this exhibition). Translating his work from oil to ink, he produced exceptionally detailed portraits and figure studies, in opposition to the trend for landscapes and cityscapes in etchings at the time.