The Sketchbook War : Saving the Nation's Artists in World War II
During the Second World War, British artists produced over 6,000 works of war art, the result of a government scheme partly designed to prevent the artists being killed. This book tells the story of nine courageous war artists who ventured closer to the front line than any others in their profession. Edward Ardizzone, Edward Bawden, Barnett Freedman, Anthony Gross, Thomas Hennell, Eric Ravilious, Albert Richards, Richard Seddon and John Worsley all travelled abroad into the dangers of war to chronicle events by painting them.
They formed a close bond, yet two were torpedoed, two were taken prisoner and three died, two in 1945 when peacetime was at hand. Men who had previously made a comfortable living painting in studios were transformed by military uniforms and experiences that were to shape the rest of their lives, and their work significantly influenced the way in which we view war today. Portraying how war and art came together in a moving and dramatic way, and incorporating vivid examples of their paintings, this is the true story behind the war artists who fought, lived and died for their art on the front line of the Second World War.