Biography of Elena Brockmann (ss. XIX-XX)

Spanish painter, born in Madrid in the second half of the 19th century. Too many data are not known about his childhood and youth, although it seems unproved that he/she received a careful artistic training at the school of fine arts of the Academy of San Fernando (Madrid), where he/she met some of the young teachers from the end of the 19th century, such as Mariano Benlliure, Joaquín Sorolla and Juan Llanos. Already at that time it had given samples of an early provision for plastic, manifest creation in 1887 at the national exhibition of fine arts, where his work was awarded an honorable mention. It's the box entitled La Chochara (1887), in which the Madrid painter left patent well his excellent mastery of the genre portrait through a remarkable study of the female figure, framed within this regionalist theme which was at that time so in vogue. Five years later, another painting of Elena Brockmann returned to be the admiration of his contemporaries, this time expressed through the third medal at the national exhibition of 1892.

Other outstanding paintings of the madrilenian artist are the courtyard of a hostel (1887) and passage of a procession by the cloister of San Juan de los Reyes (undated), both currently conserved at the Museo del Prado. In the first of them can be seen clearly that specialization of Elena Brockmann in capturing everyday scenes of domestic life, frequent subject of tired in the exhibitions of all painters of his time, usually considered as "minor artists" beside the large male authors. This conception of women as mere amateur painter (as much as any of them, like the Madrid artist, had arrived to take part in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and had received some of the prizes and awards most prestigious at the time) was due, in part to a widespread custom among the own Spanish painters, which did not address other issues of greater scope and projection to the scenes depicting local customs and human portrait () in his paintingsand, commonly, female). Hence, it must be considered as a milestone in the history of contemporary Spanish painting the picture of Elena Brockmann entitled Felipe II receiving the news of the loss of the squadron the invincible (1895), work of large proportions and ambitious theme breath, in which for the first time a woman addressed the study of a historical subject (reserved(, next to the large mythological motifs, to the "professional painters" of the male gender). The fact of considering the women who painted as mere fans equipped with greater or lesser talent also implied its distance of major cultural forums in which had their origin these pictures, whose dimensions and gravity were result of the money invested by the large fortunes that commissioned them.


IBERO CONSTANSO, Alba: "Brockmann, Elena", in Candida-PASTOR, MARTÍNEZ, José Mª de la-TAVERA, Susanna [directors], Reyna-Easter: women in the history of Spain, Madrid: planet, 2000, pp. 444-445.

PANTORBA, Bernardino: History and critical of the national exhibition of fine arts held in Spain, Madrid: Jesus Ramon García-Rama Editor, 1980.

Perez-NEU, Carmen G.: Universal Gallery of painters, Madrid: Editora Nacional, 1964.