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In the 1930s Brockhurst became a sought-after portrait painter. Paintings such as this represent a fashionable assimilation of the past with the present, a modern expression of Renaissance-style artistic values. Combining rich decoration with subtle assessment of character, Brockhurst specialised in painting rich, famous and often highly independent women and his portraits are representative of the 1930s fascination with chic and sophisticated glamour. This is a portrait of the socialite Margaret Sweeney, Duchess of Argyll. The dramatic landscape background of volcanic mountains and loch allude to the sitter’s Scottish heritage of which she was intensely proud.

October 2013