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Brockmer, J. (McKechnie Section 2)

Recorded by Jackson (Dictionary) and by Long. A number of advertisements by Brockmer have been preserved, which tell us more about him than might be expected, bearing in mind that none of his profile work (and little of his work as a miniaturist) has been identified.

All the following advertisements appear to have been published in the London press. The earliest (1765) is contained in a supplementary volume of old press cuttings (page 36) in the library at the Victoria and Albert Museum: 'PORTRAITS elegantly painted in Miniature, for Bracelets, Rings, &c. on reasonable Terms, by J. BROCKMER, at Mr. Paul's Confectioner, in Bridges-Street, near Catherine-Street, Strand, Mr. Brockmer will await on Ladies and Gentlemen, who honour him with their Commands, at their own Houses, by a Line directed as above .'On 25 February 1767, according to Jackson, an advertisement by Brockmer appeared in the Gazetteer, which included these words: 'At the Golden Head, Bridges Street, Covent Garden. Portraits painted for Cabinet Pieces, Bracelets, Rings, &c.' Long mentions two more advertisements, published in 1769 and 1771, contained in the volume of press cuttings at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In the former (according to G. C. Williamson, The History of Portrait Miniatures, London, 1904) the artist's name vas spelt 'Brokmer'. The second advertisement, dated January, reads as follows: 'Painting in Miniature, Crayons, and Indian Ink, in all Sizes, performed in the most elegant manner, and Striking Likenesses, on more reasonable Terms than could be expected, the Merits of this Performance considered. By J. BROCKMER, At the Golden Head, in Bridges-Street, Covent Garden. Drawing taught in an easy Manner.' Jackson records another advertisement which appeared on 8 September 1772 in the Daily Advertiser. Foskett mentions that Brockmer is thought to have been in Bath in 1772. Jackson mentions an earlier advertisement in the Bath Journal (25 September 1758), which cannot, however, be traced at present, nor can it be traced in the issue of the same date in 1768.

The Golden Head had been an art centre for some years, and prints had been published from there. It was next door to the Golden Head that Henry Brookes (see Section Three, and further references in the same Section under A. Jones) managed his 'Portfolio Manufactory' a few years later.

Graves (The Society of Artists of Great Britain) lists forty-six exhibits, all described as miniatures, sent in by Brockmer 1762-76. All except those sent in 1764-65 and 1768-73 were sent in from the Golden Head. Those for 1764-65 were sent in from Catherine Street; those for 1768-73, from 'at Mr. Paul's, Confectioner, Bridges Street'. As we know from the 1765 advertisement that Bridges Street was near Catherine Street, these two addresses may well have been one and the same, and, throughout the period 1762-76, Brockmer was probably working from two addresses situated close to each other in Bridges Street.

It is the references to 'Striking Likenesses' and to the use of Indian ink in his advertisement of 1771 that indicate that Brockmer did produce at least some silhouettes in that year. These were evidently painted in Indian ink, and the mention of crayon suggests that some might have been executed in the clare-obscure style practised by Francis Torond.

Foskett quotes from Graves a statement that one miniature of an officer, sent in for exhibition in 1770, was described by Walpole as 'very bad'. A miniature seen by Long, signed 'J. B., 1768' and described by Long as being painted with a stippled background, might be by Brockmer. The signature is recorded as being a monogram, cursive in formation.