Gerald Leslie Brockhurst

Elizabeth (Anaïs)

Gerald Leslie Brockhurst

Elizabeth (Anaïs)

This early 20th-century etching by eminent British artist Gerald Leslie Brockhurst (1890-1978) depicts his wife Anäis Folin.

It’s a typically alluring piece, which captures an enigmatic expression. It’s also referred to as ‘The London Caster Girl’.

Imagine you’re Brockhurst, just four years after World War I. Society has altered and you’re seeking to express something greater than simply a likeness alone. You aim to convey strength, emotion, and character - a sense that times have changed immeasurably yet within each of us there’s permanency. You seek inspiration from another time of great artistic renewal, the Italian Renaissance, and depict your dear wife, Anäis, as a modern ‘old master’.

During this part of his career, Anäis modelled for Brockhurst on numerous occasions - each time with an expression that posed more questions than it answered. It’s intriguing to consider how the two interacted during the sittings.

Throughout his career, Brockhurst was captivated by the various females within his life - besotted by their enigma - until catching the attention of another. He ultimately divorced Anäis via a messy court case, which was reported vividly by the press.

Illustrations from the period show him as quite a plain-looking gentleman, yet under the surface, he courted controversy and emotional turbulence. Perhaps he remains an apt metaphor for the ‘jazz age’ in general.

Brockhurst trained at the Royal Academy and alongside Augustus John. He was an elected member of the Royal Academy. His works are held in numerous public collections including at the Royal Academy, Tate, British Museum, Met Museum and National Portrait Gallery.

Signed lower right in pencil and held within a contemporary glazed frame.

Learn more about Gerald Leslie Brockhurst in our directory.

Medium: Etching on paper
Overall size: 13” x 14½” / 33cm x 37cm
Year of creation: 1922
Condition: Artwork presents well.
Artist’s auction maximum: £140,000

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