BRILL, Reginald Charles

1902 - 1974

Reginald Brill

Reginald Charles Brill was born at Hither Green, Lewisham, London on 6 May 1902, one of the several children of Henry Brill (1852-1908), a general labourer who was born in Germany, and his wife Alice. Reginald spent some of his early childhood in Yorkshire and in 1915 studied at Harrogate School of Art and Design, before returning to live in lodgings in London and, working in a city office, studied in the evenings at St Martin's School of Art, London and in 1920 awarded a scholarship at the Slade School of Fine Art, working under Henry Tonks (1862-1937) for three years. On leaving Slade he found patronage in Lincolnshire painting murals for Christopher Hatton-Turnor (1873-1940). By 1925 he was back in London and married at Fulham Registry Office on 12 October 1925, Ethel Rosalie Brill née Clarke. Working freelance on 'Lansbury's Labour Weekly' and in 1929 painted a portrait of George Lansbury. When Brill won a scholarship in Decorative Painting for his 'Expulsion from Eden' for the London Museum, he and Rosalie, as his wife was known, took up residence at the British School of Rome 1927-1929 where he was awarded the coveted Prix de Rome in Decorative Painting in 1927. After his return to England, he taught 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 and Kingston hold the 'Brill Collection' of watercolours. Brill's early patrons included Col Thomas Gayer Gayer-Anderson who, with his twin brother, bequeathed their Tudor home The Little Hall, Lavenham, Suffolk 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 Edmund’s and as far away as King’s 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 Art Gallery, Lavenham in 1974. Reginald Charles Brill died at Lavenham on 14 June 1974.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from Milton House, Fernshaw Road, London SW
1931 895 Young Woman in Rome - tempera
         1180 Portrait - pen
from Kingston School of Art, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey
1953 Siena
1954 1034 Study: Dick - pen
1955 629 Rural Road Works
         999 Mid-day - pen
         1004 Fred - pen
1956 596 Rest
         1012 Flora - pen
         1077 The Dance - pen
1957 691 Mid-day
         1012 Minor Operation - pen
         1217 The Sleeping Gardener - pen
1958 257 Linemen
         1124 The Kitchen - ink
         1143 Philosopher - ink
1959 445 Pantechnicon
         1155 [catalogue page missing]
         1178 [catalogue page missing]
1960 506 Jury
         1182 At the Window - pen
         1190 Six Jolly Old Men - pen
1961 619 In the Kitchen
         1088 Hello Charlie - pen & wash
         1107 Dustmen - pen & wash
from The Little Hall, Lavenham, Suffolk
1963 1021 The Manhole - pen & wash
         1032 Bellringers - pen & wash
         1053 Water-carrier - pen
1964 922 Bliss – pen & wash
         944 First Class – pen & wash
1966 765 Cattle Market
         1000 Sweet Bells Jangles – pen & wash
         1001 Words, mere words – pen
1967 1006 See the Little Old-World Village – pen & wash
         1056 Autumn Leaves – pen & wash
1968 803 So may he Rest – pencil
         851 Petty Sessions – pen & wash
         1089 Junk
1969 455 Pig Market
         862 Juggler – pen
         881 The Deal – pen & wash
1970 643 Tuesday Market – pen & ink
1971 211 Tug-of-War – pen & wash
1972 190 Onlookers – pen & wash
         255 Bibliophile – pen & wash
         451 Buoys at Harwich
1973 228 The Critic – pen & wash
         275 Brass – pen & wash
         876 Adam and Eve
from c/o Phoenix Gallery, Lavenham, Suffolk
1974 285 Let me Tell You - pen
         297 Autumn Leaves – pen
         1135 On with the Dance
The Late Reginald Brill
1975 192 Man with a Ladder - pen
         269 Kitchen – pen
         981 Italian Farm




Works by This Artist