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A Study of Paul Nash’s Artwork of The Battle of Britain

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Paul Nash s paintings delt with the Battle of Britain. Mainly from the point of view of the brave R.A.F. pilots, and what they may have seen during thier one on one engagements with the Luftwaffe. Nash also did paintings of the areal battle s as someone on the ground. His hope was to make a painting from someone on the ground as what they may have seen. Unlike the other painters, Nash s paintings were used by R.A.F. officials to help inspire their pilots to fight harder and defeat the Luftwaffe armada. In a time of war and unrest, this was a great honor for Nash. His work was used directly to inspire others to fight and live on during a dark time for the U.K. Another artist named Laura Knight also came out of World War II. Her paintings delt with a whole different approach to the war. Knight s paintings delt with the old style of balloon warfare and people in the factories. As balloons were out of age, they still had their use, at least to Knight. Balloons were mainly used to spot approaching raids and spot German positions. Pilots tended to stay away from them mainly for a fear of getting tangeled in the balloon. Her paintings of balloons illistrated their vunerability and the courage of the crews that flew them. Her other work delt with women in the factories. Cover Girl , Knight s most famous work had a 21 year old female machinest names Ruby Loftus. This painting is one of the favorites in the British masterpieces.

It shows how the British as a people would do anything to win the war. Hidden Mod. World Civ. 26 April 1999 Col. Ahrens Although these paintings came from Englands darkest days, these artist did a lot to raise the spirit of the English people. Weather or not they intended for that to happen, it did, and it helped make it possible to bring England from defeat to victory. These painters became some of the bravest people out of World War II. Risking their lives in order to paint a picther. According to some professors at Minnesota University,( National Geographic 1973) thses artist didn t do much for the war or the English spirit. They give the credit to Churchhill. Although Churchhill also helped raise the spirit of his nation, the paintings showed the bravery of the R.A.F pilots, the people in the underground in London, and those people in the factories. They helped raise the level of nationalism in England, in return helped Churchhill raise the spirit of his nation. In war, their is nothing that can be held back. War is a terrible thing, but at the same time, it forces people to do things they normally would not do or even consider doing. These painters are prime examples of such bravery. Simple artists, that put their lives on the line in order to capture some of the most powerful statements of World War II, and their generation.


1) MHQ, Volume 1, Number 1 pages 87 to 103. Written by Ken McCornic and Hamilton Darby Perry.

2) National Geographic, August 1973. Written by Historical Professors at Minnesota University.

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