Catalogue entry

N05671 PRIEST BEGGING A LIFT IN LOUVAIN, MAY 1940 1940
 

Inscr. ‘EA’ b.r.

Watercolour, pen and ink (sight), 9 1/2×12 1/8 (24×30·5).
Presented by the War Artists' Advisory Committee 1946.
Exh: National War Pictures, National Gallery, 1940 (no catalogue).
Lit: Douglas Cooper, ‘War Artists’ Exhibition at the National Gallery' in Burlington Magazine, LXXVII, 1940, p.133.
Repr: British War Artists (issued by the National Gallery for the Ministry of Information), 1940, n.p.; Sir John Rothenstein, British Art since 1900, 1962, pl.24.

Captain Ardizzone, as one of the first Official War Artists in 1940, was with the British Expeditionary Force at the time of the German advance through Holland and Belgium. In a letter to the compiler he wrote (7 October 1959): ‘Our troops had just retreated from the town [Louvain] having blown the bridges across the railway line. Enemy patrols were expected at any moment. The priest was not begging a lift for himself but for the few poor stragglers that remained. The town had been very intensively bombed by the Germans which accounted for the total exodus of its people.’

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I