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Reginald Brill (1902-1974)


Signed and inscribed with title on reverse

Ink, watercolour and pencil on paper laid down on board

27 ½ x 32 inches

Royal Academy, Summer Exhibition, 1972, No 190;
'A Century of British Art: 1945-2010', Chris Beetles Gallery, London, October-November 2021, no 287

From 1962, Reginald Brill was the resident married warden of Little Hall, Lavenham, Suffolk, which he had helped establish as a hostel for students from Kingston College of Art, in Surrey. The fourteenth-century Little Hall (which is now a museum) overlooks the market square of the village, at the centre of which stands a market cross. In the present drawing, Brill has depicted a crowd of onlookers sitting and standing on the steps of the cross so that it gain a good view of an event. However, while he has shown the cross and crowd in some detail, he has omitted to show the event that has drawn the crowd. As a result, he has introduced into the composition a somewhat characteristic air of mystery. The omitted event was possibly a carnival, which was introduced to Lavenham as an annual event early in the 1970s.

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