BRILL, Reginald Charles

1902 - 1974

Reginald Brill

Born at Hither Green, Lewisham, London on 6 May 1902, and spent some of his early childhood in Yorkshire. Living in lodgings in London and working in a city office, he studied in the evenings at St Martinís School of Art, London and in 1920 awarded a scholarship at the Slade School, working under Henry Tonks (1862-1937) for three years. On leaving Slade he found patronage in Lincolnshire painting murals for Christopher Hatton-Turner. By 1925 he was back in London and married at Fulham on 12 October 1925, Rosalie Clarke (1903-1992) [Brill q.v.] and working freelance on 'Lansbury's Labour Weekly'. He and Rosalie took up residence at the British School of Rome 1927-1929 and he was awarded the coveted Prix de Rome in decorative painting in 1927. He then returned to England to teach at Blackheath School of Art and in 1930 was invited by the Egyptian Government to spend six months in Cairo and Alexandria, returning to England via the Greek Islands and Italy. In January 1934 he took over as head at the Kingston School of Art where he remained until 1962. Brill's early patrons included Col. Thomas Gayer Gayer-Anderson [q.v.] who, with his twin brother, bequeathed their Tudor home The Little Hall, Lavenham to Surrey County Council, owners of Kingston School of Art, for use as a hostel for art students, Brill and his wife retired to Lavenham in 1962 and became wardens: today the house is the headquarters of the Suffolk Preservation Society. Brill had a studio in Lavenham Guildhall from where he travelled to Sudbury and Bury St Edmundís and as far away as Kingís Lynn, Norfolk to draw livestock auctions, also drawing local scenes and views. During his career he published two books 'Modern Painting' (1946) and 'Art as a Career' (1962) and was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions and had a major retrospective exhibition at Phoenix Gallery, Lavenham just before his death at Lavenham on 14 June 1974.




Works by This Painter