The Face of Courage: Eric Kennington, Portraiture and the Second World War

ISBN: 9780856677052
Artist(s): Eric Kennington
Author(s): Jonathan Black
Format: paperback
Edition: -
Year published: 2011
Publisher: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd
Total Pages: 160
Illustrations: Illustrated throughout


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The powerful, poignant and unforgettable portraits of soldiers in charcoal and pastel that Eric Kennington produced during the Second World War established him as ‘among the most capable draughtsmen’ of the day. He was frequently mentioned by leading art critics as equal in skill to contemporaries such as Augustus John, William Orpen and John Singer Sergeant. His work was routinely placed in the same class as such giants from the past as Botticelli, Van Eyck, Durer, Hans Holbein the Younger, Cranach, Ingres and Goya. The incisive, crystalline quality of his draughtsmanship was especially admired, the variety of effects he could achieve with the subtlest change in pressure on a stick of charcoal or pastel. This book brings together a fine selection of Kennington’s war portraits, along with accounts of his sitters’ dramatic careers and the context of these works.


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