Thomas Hennell: The Land and the Mind

ISBN: 9781910258620
Artist(s): Thomas Hennell
Author(s): Jessica Kilburn
Format: hardback
Year published: 4 March 2021
Publisher: Pimpernel Books
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 320
Illustrations: Illustrated in colour

Artist(s) Biographies:


1 available

Please Note: This title will be dispatched after it’s publication on 4 March 2021

“When John Rothenstein, Director of the Tate Gallery, published the third volume of his Modern English Painters in 1984, he subtitled it Hennell to Hockney. While now as then David Hockney needs no introduction, Thomas Hennell (1903 1945) has somehow slipped off the radar and undoubtedly deserves to be more widely recognized today. At the time of his death, Hennell was widely considered to be one of Britai’s most significant watercolorists and notable cultural figures. He struggled with serious mental illness, was diagnosed as schizophrenic and spent the years from 1932 to 1935 in three different “”mental hospitals””, the Maudsley Hospital amongst them. Edward Bawden encouraged him to “”center and compose”” the experience of schizophrenia by writing about it, and Hennell’s remarkable illustrated account, The Witnesses, was published in 1938. Eric Ravilious, too, helped Hennell with his recovery, providing a series of wood engravings as illustrations for The Poems of Thomas Hennell, published in 1936. At the outbreak of war in 1939 Hennell wrote to War Artists Advisory Committee, offering his services as an artist. From 1943 he was a full-time salaried war artist. He served in Europe and the Far East and was in Java when he was captured by Indonesian nationalist fighters in November 1945. He was presumed to have been killed shortly after. Hennell’s paintings and drawings provide an insight into an era: they will appeal to those with a love of the countryside and farming, an interest in the Second World War, and admirers of the now very famous artists who were his friends and regarded him as an equal. “

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