Ravenna : Lieutenant-General Sir Richard McCreery decorates Bulow, the Partisan Leader, with the Medaglio d'Oro for conspicuous personal bravery

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM ART LD 4966
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  • medium: Watercolour
  • support: paper
  • Support: Height 568 mm
  • Support: Width 786 mm
  • Frame: Height 860 mm
  • Frame: Width 1113 mm
  • Frame: Depth 33 mm
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  • object category: drawing
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Object description

image: Elevated view of a town square complete with large statue of Garibaldi in robes. A military ceremony, complete with honour guard and military band, is being conducted underneath the statue. A large building decorated with flags dominates the square.


Arrigo Boldini (codenamed Bulow) was the leader of the XXVIIIth Garibaldi Brigade 'M. Gordini' ; the partisan force which liberated Ravenna, on December 4, 1944, with the approval of the Allied Forces. General McCreery was the Commanding Officer of the 8th British Army in Italy. Bawden perched on the roof of the municipal building in Ravenna to record this presentation in the Piazza Garibaldi. He described the scene to his wife: 'Most of the square was clasped in shadow, only a few houses at one end and Garibaldi raised high on a pedestal caught the light, and his figure in white stone dominated the scene... For the occasion...a standard uniform was issued: khaki pants, peagreen battledress blouse & cow pat cap. the red scarf around the neck links memories of Garibaldi to more recent ones of the hammer & sickle.' He also spoke of the spirit of the Garibaldi Brigade in a letter to Eric Gregory of the War Artist's Advisory Committee on 22 February 1945: 'Not a man but memory inspires the fighting brigades which take their names from Garibaldi.'

History note

War Artists Advisory Committee commission


Edward Bawden

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