On the Donegal Coast

On the Donegal Coast



REGINALD BRILL (1902-1974)

On the Donegal Coast



25.5 by 40 cm., 10 by 15 in. (frame size 36.5 by 51 cm., 14 by 20 in.)

Provenance: The artist’s studio sale.

Brill was born in London. From the age of 13 he was taking night classes at St Martin’s School of Art and in 1921 he won a scholarship to The Slade where he studied under Tonks, 1921-24. In 1927 he won the Prix de Rome for Decorative Painting and was at the British School in Rome 1927-9. He taught at Blackheath School of Art before spending 3 months painting in Egypt in 1930. In 1934 he took up an appointment at The School of Art, Kingston upon Thames. His energy and enthusiasm revolutionized the department and within 5 years a purpose built School of Art was opened. He became principal of the school at the age of only 30 and had transformed it into one of the most respected art schools in England. Brill published two books; Modern Painting in 1946 and Art as a Career in 1962. He valued drawing as the solid base for his work and his narrative and social realist paintings reflect his interest in people and every day events. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, Leicester Galleries and in East Anglia, where he lived, at Lavenham. This work was executed in 1933. In her biography of Brill, Judith Bumpus commented on the artist’s painting trip to Ireland: “In 1933 he visited Donegal, where the lochs and mountains, particularly in the area around Muckish, inspired some of Brill’s most spontaneous and purely painterly watercolours. Nowhere else did he take such obvious pleasure in capturing the richness of the landscape: the vivid, moist colours, the patterns made by the vegetation and cloudy skies, and the swiftly changing light so characteristic of this area. The textural and spatial effects he creates by dragging drier colours across the surface contrast with his known oils of this period, which like some of the Italian landscapes tended to be tonally subdued and two-dimensional in quality.” (Bumpus, Reginald Brill, 1999, p.18).


Height 25.5 cm / 10 "
Width 40 cm / 15 "
Framed height 36.5 cm / 14 12"
Framed width 51 cm / 20 14"