Richard Eurich

The Landing at Dieppe, 19th August 1942

1942–3

Medium
Oil paint on wood
Dimensions
Support: 1219 x 1753 mm
frame: 1430 x 1950 x 130 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the War Artists Advisory Committee 1946
Reference
N05691

Display caption

This epic painting records the Allied seaborne assault on occupied France in 1942 which resulted in heavy losses of men and equipment. Eurich was commissioned to record the occasion and was given access to top secret maps, models, photographs and written orders.

Eurich said the three sections represented different times of day. The central section records the main attack at sunrise and ‘almost becomes a battle plan’. On the right is ‘the blowing up of a munition dump [and]... other detailed action by troops landed’.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

N05691 THE LANDING AT DIEPPE, 19TH AUGUST 1942 1942–3
 
Inscr. ‘R. Eurich. 1942–3.’ b.r.
Oil on plywood, 48×69 (122×175).
Presented by the War Artists' Advisory Committee 1946.
Exh: R.A., 1943 (456), as ‘Dieppe’; National War Pictures, National Gallery, 1943; Spring Exhibition, Bradford, March–June 1945 (253); National War Pictures, R.A., October–November 1945 (284); Works by Bradford Artists, 1851–1951, Bradford, June–August 1951 (27).
Repr: Eric Newton, War through Artists' Eyes, 1945, p.36 (in colour).

The artist wrote (8 September 1956): ‘I was particularly asked if I would have a go at the subject and was sent for a day or two after the event to Headquarters Combined Operations, which was at that time in Whitehall. I was locked in a room with a sentry, where maps, models, souvenirs etc. were displayed, with orders issued to troops etc.... I was told next to nothing.... I divided the picture into a triptych, the centre sunrise being that time of day, but the two flanking wings are two different times of the day. The huge explosion on the right was the blowing up of a munition dump by Lord Lovat's Commandos (the only part of the action which went to plan). The right wing represents other detailed action by troops landed - The main attack (frontal) is represented in the centre, and really if considered as a flat pattern, almost becomes a battle diagram, as seen in history books. The destroyer depicted [to the right] was lost as shown.’

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