Biography: English painter and etcher. During the 1930s and 1940s he was celebrated as a portraitist. Today he is best known for his small etched prints of beautiful, idealized women - many of them modelled by his first and second wives.
Born in Birmingham, England, the son of a coal merchant he entered the Birmingham School of Art at the age of twelve. A pupil at the Royal Academy Schools in 1907, he won the gold medal and a travelling scholarship in 1913, enabling him to visit both France and Italy. This led to a closer study of such 15th century artists as Piero della Francesca, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, whose work had an abiding influence on him. In 1914 he married for the first time to a Frenchwoman, Anaïs Folin, whom he used as the model for most of his early etchings of young womanhood (especially from 1920 till 1934). From 1915 to 1919 Brockhurst and his wife Anaïs lived in Ireland, where they were friendly with the artist Augustus John and his circle.
Though he tried his hand at etching in 1914, it was not until 1920 that he began his career as an etcher in earnest, eventually achieving success as both a printmaker and society portraitist. Throughout the 1930s he continued an increasingly-successful career as a portrait artist, with notable sitters including the film stars Merle Oberon and Marlene Dietrich, as well as the Duchess of Windsor, whose husband commissioned her portrait. In 1937 Brockhurst was elected to the Royal Academy.
After his marriage fell apart he moved to New York, Brockhurst where he continued to be successful as a society portrait painter, but his printmaking output diminished. He produced a few lithographs at the end of his career (around 1945). In 1951, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member.