Lost at Sea

These four paintings were destroyed by enemy action during WW2.

They were part of an exhibition of 111 war artist works on their way to Rio de Janeiro as an act of solidarity by the War Artists’ Advisory Committee. Brazil was the only South American country to send troops to fight along side other Allied forces in Europe (in Italy). However, the ship carrying the exhibition was torpedoed and sunk.

To make up for for this loss, the tour of an earlier WAAC show in the USA and Canada was extended to South America. This earlier show, ‘Britain at War” opened at MOMA in New York in 1941 in an effort to weaken the neutrality of the Americans. Richard’s now famous Withdrawal from Dunkirk, June 1940  was given a special place in the show and was used on the cover of the catalogue.

In 1944 Brazil returned the act of friendship by sending 168 works by their most prominent modernist artists to London. They were shown at a special exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1944. The show attracted over 100,000 visitors, including the Queen Mother. Half the artworks were sold to support the war effort and others were given to public galleries in the UK.


4 works in this theme: