Gibraltar by Hercules Brabazon Brabazon, NEAC, 1821-1906. Watercolor, 9 1/4 x 13 inches; inscribed with initials; titles verso.
Commentary by Rupert Maas
Brabazon was once described (by the critic Frederick Wedmore) as 'a country gentleman who at seventy years old made his debut as a professional artist and straight away became famous'. As with many seeping statements, this was not entirely true, for whilst he was the scion of a wealthy Irish landowning family with a thousand year old lineage, and although he did not exhibit until 1892, reluctantly with the Goupil Gallery, he had painted all his life, when young with other travelling watercolourists including Samuel Prout and James Holland and later with Ruskin, and was a close friend of John Singer Sargent, whom he taught watercolour painting.
His work was highly regarded by both peers and the public, despite his amateur status. His technique came fresh from Callow, bypassing Victorian aesthetics, or the lack of them, entirely. This quality of freshness can be attributed partly to his innovative use of bodycolour, so useful in rendering sunlight and so physically resistant to its deleterious effect over time. 
Catalogue [of June 2008 Exhibition]. London: The Maas Gallery, 2008. Catalogue no. 69
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Last modified 7 July 2008