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Reginald Brill (1902-1974)


Reginald Brill (1902-1974)

Reginald Brill was best known for his large-scale figure subjects of men engaged in manual labour. Their combination of monumentality and homeliness, even humour, bear witness to the artist’s central place within our native figurative tradition.

Reginald Brill was born Reginald Brill in Hither Green, London on 6 May 1902, the son of a Polish tailor father and an English mother. During his childhood, he moved with his family to Bath and then Harrogate, though domestic harmony was disrupted on the outbreak of the First World War, when his father was interned as an alien. Nevertheless, his artistic studies developed considerably during his father’s absence; winning a scholarship to Harrogate School of Art at the age of thirteen, he managed to gain a certificate in art teaching only two years later. Moving to London, in 1917, he took clerical jobs – in the City and Fleet Street – so as to afford evening classes at St Martin’s School of Art.

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