As a student at the Royal Academy, Brockhurst won the Gold Medal for Drawing at the age of 17. He went on to win a number of further prizes, one of which was a travel scholarship to Italy, and his exposure to Italian Renaissance art had a profound impact on his work. Brockhurst’s association with the Royal Academy was also to impact his career and life in a different way; in 1928 he met Kathleen Woodward, referred to typically as Dorette, who swiftly went on to supersede his wife Anäis as his lover, muse and later, wife. His emotionally charged portraits of her have become among his most celebrated and had a considerable impact in developing his reputation as an oil painter.
Charles Carpenter CBE (1858-1938) was the President of the South Metropolitan Gas Company. The present work is one of the few commissioned male portraits of the period, as this period was dominated by etchings and portraits of Anäis. An etching of the painting was privately commissioned and issued in 1931.
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