Village of Dinton, January 1941

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    The village of Dinton, Buckinghamshire, is cloaked by snow in this winter scene painted by Henry Marvell Carr, in January 1941. A villager walks away to the right, his body hunched under the weight of a bundle of wood. Meanwhile a couple of soldiers try to warm their hands near a wood pile protected by tarpaulin, to the side of the road. More men in arms populate the scene, wearing heavy winter cloaks. From the subject matter, to the loose brushwork, there is a sense of capturing a fleeting moment in a working day as the troops pass through. The local 12th century church of Saints Peter and Paul can be seen in the background.

    At the start of the Second World War, Henry Marvell Carr was commissioned by the War Artists’ Advisory Committee — the government agency which engaged artists to make a comprehensive record of Britain throughout the war — to record scenes of bomb damage in London and its suburbs. From 1943, he was a full-time, salaried War Office artist, recording the war in North Africa and Italy.

    This work was a gift to the Government Art Collection from the War Artists’ Advisory Committee via the Imperial War Museum in 1946.

  • About the artist
    Born in Leeds, Henry Marvell Carr studied at Leeds College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. During the First World War he served in France in the Royal Field Artillery, and during the Second World War he worked as an Official War Artist in North Africa and Italy. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and the Paris Salon from the early 1920s until his death in 1970. He also taught for a number of years at Beckenham Art School, where he was made head of the School. He wrote a treatise on portrait painting in 1952, and was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Salon in 1956. The Royal Society of Portrait Painters made him a Fellow in 1948 and he was elected a Royal Academician in 1966.
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  • Details
    Village of Dinton, January 1941
    Oil on canvas
    height: 61.00 cm, width: 91.50 cm
    Presented via the Imperial War Museum, War Artists' Advisory Committee, April 1946
    BR: HENRY M CARR / 41
    GAC number