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Brocas, James

Date and place of birth:
1754, Dublin
Date and place of death:
1780, Dublin
(fl) 1770s
Known places of work:
Known techniques:
Painted on card/paper
Known materials:
Not recorded


James Brocas was an Irish portrait painter, profilist and miniaturist working in the late 18th century in Dublin.

Winning prices for his artwork in 1772 and 1773 at the Dublin Society's School, Brocas appears to have had a short but lively career, painting Irish nobility and gentry. Unfortunately, no examples of his silhouette work have been uncovered, and all information about his techniques comes from advertisements. He died in 1780 in his native Dublin at the young age of 26.

Brocas appears to have used a variety of materials in order to give his work an edge, including a mixture of crayons and oil paints. However, since he asked only half-a-crown each for bust-length profiles, he may have painted these in solid black. Brocas’ description of his style has similarities with the Clare-obscure method used by Torond. However, due to the lack of attributed pieces, little can be definitively said about this artist’s work.

Additional research about James Brocas:

Source: McKechnie (Author of, British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760-1860)

Brocas, James (McKechnie Section 2)