Hercules Brabazon Brabazon (British, 1821–1906)
The Citadel of Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg
Watercolour with touches of white over pencil on blue paper
14 x 17.3 cm
The second son of Hercules Sharpe, the artist was educated at Harrow. After leaving Cambridge, where he read mathematics, he decided to become an artist and studied in Rome for three years. On the death of his elder brother he inherited the Brabazon name and estates in Ireland. He spent his summers in England and his winters travelling in Europe and, from the 1860s, further afield. In 1891 Sargent persuaded him to have an exhibition at the Goupil Gallery, and as a result in his old age he was at the forefront of the modern movement.
He was most influenced by Turner, Cox, Müller and de Wint, and his style owes much to Turner’s late work. Turner drew several views of Luxembourg on his Meuse–Moselle tour of 1839, and a watercolour from a similar viewpoint is in the Turner Bequest at Tate Britain (TB CCXXX1 0), although it is unlikely that Brabazon would have seen this work.