It is a fact that many signposts were temporarily removed, especially in rural areas, during the Second World War, and that countrymen were advised to report sightings of suspicious foreign looking and foreign sounding individuals in their district. What is not generally known, I suspect, is that an artist plying his or her trade as a landscape painter could have come under the gaze of local busybodies, including members of the Home Guard, who may have reported them to the authorities.
Thanks for sending this in RMH. Trunks of family papers often yield treasures fit to share and even research further...Et tu Healey!
Found in a trunk of family papers, this water colour depicts a churchyard somewhere in the Yorkshire dales. The artist is elder statesman Denis Healey, now Baron Riddlesden, and the sketch dates from around 1934, when the 17 year old Denis was cycling around the countryside of his adopted Yorkshire capturing its essence. The palette and style suggests that he was influenced a little by Paul Nash, and later he was to claim Ethelbert White as an inspiration.
Denis was encouraged by some pretty good local artists in his late teens, but he gave up painting when he went to Oxford, and later took up photography instead. ‘I was good’, he later admitted,’ but not that good’. I think he had genuine gifts, but then I’m biased. Judge for yourself. [R.M. Healey]
Sold in auction in New York 25/6/13 as part of 'The Library of Stuart and Caroline Schimmel' a pair of book related watercolours. These paintings appear to have been traded several times in the last 20 years but here made $3250 including the 'juice' (i.e. Bonham's sturdy 25%). Described thus:-