Maurice W. Brockwell

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Maurice Walter Brockwell (born May 24, 1869 in Sheffield , † December 7, 1958 in London ) was a British art historian .


Maurice Brockwell - the eldest son of Anglican clergyman JC Brockwell, a canon at Sheffield Cathedral - first attended St. Paul's Cathedral Choir School in London and Hurstpierpoint College in Hurstpierpoint , West Sussex .

After extensive travels in Europe, he began his art-historical work as an employee of Charles Holroyd (1861–1917), director of the National Gallery in Londen, while revising the museum's catalogs. In 1902 he married Mary Ellen Macnaughlen († 1952). In 1910/11 he was librarian and secretary to Bernard Berenson in Florence . In 1911 he prepared the catalog for the Old Masters Exhibition and in 1913 the catalog for the Spanish Old Masters exhibition at London's Grafton Galleries . He worked with the well-known art historian WH James Weale . In 1912 they jointly published the second edition of his book about the van Eyck brothers. In 1913 Brockwell represented Great Britain and Ireland at the Jan van Eyck Memorial Foundation in Ghent . He spent the years 1917 to 1920 in the USA. He wrote catalogs for exhibitions and museums and advised collectors such as JP Morgan and Joseph E. Widener . From 1920 to 1939 he was the curator of the Cook Collection at Doughty House in Richmond , Surrey . In 1927 he was secretary of the Flemish Paintings Exhibition at Burlington House . Brockwell also gave lectures on art history as a University Extension Lecturer at the University of Cambridge .

He was the English correspondent for the Parisian Gazette des Beaux-Arts . From 1908 to 1913, he wrote over 200 entries for volumes 2 to 9 of the Thieme-Becker artist lexicon . His publications mainly dealt with early Italian and Flemish painting. His absurd theories about Hubert van Eyck , whose existence he denied, and Jan van Eyck , who is allegedly depicted in the painting of the Arnolfini wedding with his wife, are rejected by today's art historians.

Fonts (selection)

  • Leonardo da Vinci . TC & EC Jack, London 1908 ( ).
  • The National Gallery: Lewis Bequest . George Allen & Sons, London 1909 ( ).
  • A Catalog of an Exhibition of Old Masters in Aid of the National Art-Collections Fund . PL Warner / The Medici Society, London 1911.
  • The 'Adoration of the Magi' by Jan Mabuse. Formerly in the collection of the Earl of Carlisle. Athenæum Press, London 1911.
  • with WH James Weale: The van Eycks and their art . J. Lane, London 1912 ( ).
  • Frans Hals. His Life and Work . 1914
  • Catalog of the Cook collection, Richmond . 1915;
  • with Osvald Sirén: Catalog of a loan exhibition of Italian primitives: in aid of the American War Relief . F. Kleinberger Galleries, New York 1917 ( ).
  • Erasmus. Humanist and painter. A study of a triptych in a private collection . Privately Printed, New York 1918 ( ).
  • Catalog of the Henry E Huntington Art Gallery, San Marino, California . 1925
  • u. a .: Catalog of the Loan Exhibition of Flemish & Belgian Art, Burlington House, London 1927 . Country Life / The Anglo-Belgian Union, London 1927.
  • The pseudo-Arnolfini portrait. A case of mistaken identity. Chatto & Windus, London 1952.
  • The Van Eyck problem. Chatto & Windus, London 1954 (reprinted by Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn. 1971).


  • Mr. Maurice Brockwell: a Devoted Student of Painting. In: The Times (London) December 8, 1958. p. 15.
  • F. Gordon Roe: Mr. Maurice Brockwell. In: The Times (London) December 12, 1958, p. 15.

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