Julian Otto Trevelyan
Julian Otto Trevelyan
by Julian Otto Trevelyan
oil on canvas, 1940
24 in. x 18 1/4 in. (611 mm x 464 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Julian Otto Trevelyan (1910-1988), Painter and etcher. Sitter in 9 portraits, Artist of 3 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Julian Otto Trevelyan (1910-1988), Painter and etcher. Artist of 3 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Deeply affected by the industrial north, he adopted an expressionist manner, evident in this self-portrait painted during the Blitz.
Linked publicationsback to top
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- Rideal, Liz, Insights: Self-portraits, 2005, p. 21 Read entry
A painter and printmaker, Trevelyan worked in Blackpool and Bolton on Tom Harrison’s ‘Mass Observation’ project from 1937 to 1938. The choking smoke of the ‘Satanic Mills’ in this self-portrait ironically signifies his inspiration, but also the plight of those dwelling in the polluted atmosphere of the industrial North. In his autobiography Indigo Days, Trevelyan compares art to being a collaboration with the god of chance: ‘If I am lucky, the picture will begin to paint itself’.
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 623
Events of 1940back to top
Current affairsFollowing the German invasion of the Netherlands, Belgium and France, Neville Chamberlain resigns and Churchill is appointed Prime Minister making the famous speech: 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.'
The Battle of Britain ends the Phoney War with Germany's attack on the nation from the air. Britain's cities, airbases and ports are bombed during the Blitz.
Art and scienceWith little access to sculpture materials, and a bombed out studio Henry Moore starts experimenting with drawings of war subjects. After taking shelter in a London Underground station during an air raid Moore was inspired to begin a series of Shelter Drawings. With a commission from the War Artists Advisory Committee, headed by Kenneth Clark, these became some of the most popular example of official war art.
InternationalBritain's attempt to defend France against German invasion by landing troops on the French coast ends in failure; France surrenders and Britain is left to face the Axis Powers alone. While the Dunkirk Landings were a failure, the heroic rescue of troops by a fleet of English civilian boats was a victory for morale, and the 'Dunkirk Spirit' came to stand as an emblem of British triumph in adversity.
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