Brill was born in London. From the age of 13 he was taking night classes at St Martin’s School of Art and in 1921 he won a scholarship to The Slade where he studied under Tonks, 1921-24. In 1927 he won the Prix de Rome for Decorative Painting and was at the British School in Rome 1927-9. He taught at Blackheath School of Art before spending 3 months painting in Egypt in 1930. In 1934 he took up an appointment at The School of Art, Kingston upon Thames. His energy and enthusiasm revolutionized the department and within 5 years a purpose built School of Art was opened. He became principal of the school at the age of only 30 and had transformed it into one of the most respected art schools in England. Brill published two books; Modern Painting in 1946 and Art as a Career in 1962. He valued drawing as the solid base for his work and his narrative and social realist paintings reflect his interest in people and every day events. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, Leicester Galleries and in East Anglia, where he lived, at Lavenham.
There is an ink drawing of a figure seated at a table by a window on the reverse of this work.