Gerald Leslie Brockhurst, British (1890 - 1978)

Gerald Leslie Brockhurst (October 31, 1890 – May 4, 1978) was an English painter and etcher.

During the 1930s and 1940s he was celebrated as a portraitist, painting society figures such as Marlene Dietrich and the Duchess of Windsor. Today he is best known for his small etched prints of beautiful, idealized women - many of them modelled by his first and second wives.

He entered the Birmingham School of Art at the age of twelve and soon showed uncanny drawing skills. At the Royal Academy Schools he won the gold medal and scholarship in 1913.

Though he tried his hand at etching in 1914 it was not until 1920 that he began his career as an etcher in earnest. Most of his etchings were versions of his oil paintings - many of which now appear a bit garish and wooden to our eyes. On the other hand the precision of the etchings seems almost miraculously lifelike.

He used his first wife Anais as the model for most of his early etchings of young womanhood (especially from 1920 till 1934).

After falling in love with a sixteen year old model named Dorette and divorcing Anais, negative public opinion forced him to leave England, especially after his most famous etching, called Adolescence, the image of Dorette sitting naked before her bedroom mirror, was shown at the Royal Academy in 1933.

In New York, Brockhurst became both famous and rich with a series of society portraits but his printmaking output diminished, especially his etchings. He produced a few lithographs at the end of his career (around 1945).

In 1958, he appeared as a guest challenger on the TV panel show "To Tell The Truth".

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