Elena Brockmann

Active ca. 1887–1896

Spanish artist Elena Brockmann, who received an exceptional artistic education thanks to her prestigious family, was born in Madrid and actively painted between 1887 and 1896.

She studied under her uncle Juan Llanos Y Keats (Brockmann's grandmother was Fanny Keats, sister of the renowned poet John Keats), as well as Jose Benlliure and Joaquin Sorolla, specializing in genre painting. During the 19th century, Brockmann had great success in the Exposiciones Nacionales de Bellas Artes, winning honors and awards in 1887 and 1892.

Because women were generally excluded from life-drawing classes, few women artists attempted history painting, a genre that requires mastery of the human figure and illustrates historical, mythological, or religious events. In contrast to many of her contemporaries, Brockmann excelled at history painting, standing out because of her complex themes and compositions. She exhibited in three national exhibitions in Madrid before disappearing from prominence at the end of the 19th century, as history painting waned in popularity.