back to works by this artist go to previous work   go to next work

Gerald Leslie Brockhurst

1890 - 1978

A Ballynakill Woman by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst

A Ballynakill Woman   1926

  Original etching.
Signed in pencil.
Ref: Wright 53; Fletcher 53 vii/vii
S 276 x 215 mm; P 137 x 105 mm; I 128 x 103 mm
Original G.L.Brockhurst etching.

Excellent impression from the only edition of 107 signed proofs.

A Ballynakill Woman portrays a peasant woman from Connemara regarding whom Harold Wright recorded a disturbing note: “Brockhurst told me that the two children (her daughters, depicted in another etching by Brockhurst) were her illegitimate offspring. She was a very rough character and was said to have committed seven murders! I suppose this is all gospel truth? H.W.” (inscribed on an impression of her portrait in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford).

Whatever her past may have been, she discriminated cruelly between her two daughters, who were the subject of G.L. Brockhurst’s poignant etching entitled The West of Ireland (Fletcher 61). She isolated the younger daughter, whilst lavishing attention upon her sister. She hacked at the hair of the poor younger girl, cutting her fringe jaggedly in spite, and dressed her in drab clothes, whilst favouring her sister with pretty dresses. Unable to bear this constant rejection, the younger girl threw herself into a lake and drowned.

Brockhurst’s penetrating portrait of the mother in this dreadful saga conveys clearly the strange nature of this disturbed and simple woman.

On cream wove paper with full margins and deckle edge. Excellent original condition.