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Sir Arthur Bliss

(1891-1975), Composer

Sir Arthur Edward Drummond Bliss

Sitter in 41 portraits
A composer of orchestral and chamber works, Bliss drew inspiration from painting and sculpture. After serving with distinction in the 13th Royal Fusiliers (1914-17) and the Grenadier Guards (1917-19) and surviving with few injuries, his traumatic experiences are revealed in his diaries, letters and autobiography, As I Remember (1970). After the war, Bliss reacted against his German-influenced teaching and experimented with innovative compositions, coming to prominence with Colour Symphony (1921-2). In 1930, Bliss wrote Morning Heroes, a symphony in memory of his brother and friends killed in battle in the war, and identified it as a means for exorcising a recurring war-related nightmare and it is said to address his generation’s drive to fight in the war. Other important work includes the ballet Checkmate (1937) and the score for the film Things to Come (1935), considered one of the finest works in that medium. During World War Two he was the BBC's Director of Music and became Master of the Queen's Music from 1953.

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Sir Arthur Bliss, by Wyndham Lewis - NPG 6865

Sir Arthur Bliss

by Wyndham Lewis
pencil, 1922
NPG 6865

Sir Arthur Bliss, by Angus McBean - NPG P886

Sir Arthur Bliss

by Angus McBean
bromide print, 1949
NPG P886

Sir Arthur Bliss, by Herbert Lambert - NPG x133147

Sir Arthur Bliss

by Herbert Lambert
photogravure, circa 1922
NPG x133147

Sir Arthur Bliss, by Elsie Gordon - NPG x20608

Sir Arthur Bliss

by Elsie Gordon
snapshot print, 1923
NPG x20608

Sir Arthur Bliss, by Gordon Anthony - NPG x44785

Sir Arthur Bliss

by Gordon Anthony
modern bromide print from original negative, 1937
NPG x44785

Sir Arthur Bliss; Adele Leigh, by Keystone Press Agency Ltd - NPG x184237

Sir Arthur Bliss; Adele Leigh

by Keystone Press Agency Ltd
bromide press print, 16 December 1949
NPG x184237

Sir Arthur Bliss, by P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd - NPG x182381

Sir Arthur Bliss

by P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd
bromide press print, 2 August 1955
NPG x182381

Sir Arthur Bliss, by Norman Parkinson - NPG x30014

Sir Arthur Bliss

by Norman Parkinson
bromide print on card mount, 1956
NPG x30014


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