In Memoriam: Rupert Brooke

© Estate of Duncan Grant. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Yale Center for British Art

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The young poet Rupert Brooke, famed for his idealistic war sonnets, died at sea in April 1915 on his way to participate in the disastrous British assault on Gallipoli during the First World War. His death sent shockwaves through the Bloomsbury Group. 'It is too horrible', wrote Duncan Grant, who had known Brooke since their school days: 'May no other generation live under the cloud we have to live under'. Grant, a pacifist, made this painting as an act of homage. It neither glorifies Brooke’s death nor overtly explores his remarkable life but adopts instead the colourful abstract style with which Grant was experimenting during this period. A piece of silver foil was originally attached to the bottom of the painting, hinting at Grant’s fondness for cubist collages.


In Memoriam: Rupert Brooke




oil & collage on panel


H 54.8 x W 29.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Paul Mellon Fund

Work type



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Yale Center for British Art

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