by Sir Matthew Smith
oil on canvas, circa 1944
40 1/8 in. x 26 1/4 in. (1020 mm x 668 mm)
Lent by The Dahl Family, 2013
Artistback to top
- Sir Matthew Smith (1879-1959), Painter. Artist of 4 portraits, Sitter in 6 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait shows Dahl as a young RAF pilot during the Second World War. It resulted after Dahl saw Smith’s work in a London gallery and tracked the artist to his lodgings. Arriving in RAF uniform, he made a powerful impression. The work was was painted in two or three sittings, during which Smith worked with 'frenzied activity'.
Smith was grieving for his two sons who had recently lost their lives while serving in the RAF. The artist and writer became lifelong friends.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Colour, Light, Texture: Portraits by Matthew Smith and Frank Dobson (5 August 2014 - 6 April 2015)