Portrait of A. H. Mackmurdo, 1 May 1945
Sir Frank Brangwyn RA (1867 - 1956)
RA Collection: Art
Advising amateur artists, Frank Brangwyn wrote 'this game of drawing is not hedged about with inhibitions'. This approach is clear in his many robust working drawings, squared-up for transfer, with notes, details and sketches scattered around their margins. Even in this painstaking work, Brangwyn concentrated all his efforts on the wrinkled face of his old friend and was content to leave the rest of the drawing as a sketch.
Although he had no formal art training, Brangwyn drew at the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) where he met Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo (1851-1942), the Arts and Crafts architect. Introducing the young artist to influential friends including William Morris, Mackmurdo also encouraged Brangwyn to pursue his wide-ranging interests in painting, design and printmaking. When his mentor died in March 1942, Brangwyn wrote sadly of losing his 'old friend and master'. Three years later he produced this sensitive portrait of the aged Mackmurdo, almost certainly based on a photograph taken at one of their last meetings.
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