Gerald Leslie Brockhurst


Gerald Leslie Brockhurst


This early 20th-century etching by eminent British artist Gerald Leslie Brockhurst (1890-1978) depicts ‘Nadia’.

It’s a typically alluring piece, which captures a strong enigmatic expression.

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 subjects as new ‘old masters’.

Throughout his career, Brockhurst was captivated by the various females within his life - besotted by their enigma - until catching the attention of another. Details of this particular woman are unclear but he depicts her with sensitivity as if he knew her well.

The etching was shown at various exhibitions throughout the 1920s including the 'Modern Masters of Etching' at the Leicester Galleries. The press reported:

“The artists are British and Continental. The home team includes Augustus John RA, Richard Sickert ARA, Brockhurst, Nevinson, and Mrs Laura Knight ARA. And Picasso, Laboureur, Forain, Segonzac and Besnard are among the visitors.”

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: 1921
Condition: Artwork presents well.
Artist’s auction maximum: £140,000

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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