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Banking at 4,000 feet

NEVINSON, Christopher Richard Wynne (1889 - 1946)

Banking at 4,000 feet - Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson

Banking at 4,000 feet - Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson

Banking at 4,000 feet

Date: 1917

Media: lithograph on paper

Acquired: 1919; Presented by Ministry of Information

Accession Number: NWM A 13192

Collection: The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals

This image shows the view from a plane. A hand, perhaps Nevinson’s own, grips tightly to the side.  Nevinson flew in a two-seater aircraft in June 1917.  This view of the earth from the air would have been a new experience for many viewers, who would have sensed the exhilaration of being inside the plane.  Two weeks after Nevinson completed his drawings for these prints he was at the Front as an official war artist.  

Nevinson’s prints were particularly admired when first exhibited.  He ‘contrives to make the visitor almost giddy’, one critic wrote, another that he possessed ‘the power of expressing sensations rather than visual facts’.

Nevinson studied lithography under Ernest Jackson in 1912.  At the outbreak of war he volunteered as an ambulance driver, an experience which deeply affected him.  He was appointed an official war artist in 1917.  These prints follow the process of building aircraft from making parts to assembly and flight. Acetylene Welder and Assembling parts both show the growing contribution of women workers. 

Nevinson was born in London to the war correspondent and journalist Henry Nevinson.  He studied at the Slade School and in Paris. He is one of the most renowned war artists of the period. His work was influenced by avant-garde European art movements such as Cubism and Futurism, yet slowly moved to a more realist style as he attempted to portray conflict.

This work forms part of the portfolio The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals, a series of 66 lithographic prints commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1917. The series provide a broad and fascinating representation of Britain’s war objectives, military activities and effort on the Home Front.
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