Preparations for D-Day

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM ART LD 4587
Department
Art and Popular Design
Display status
IWM London
Production date
1944
Subject period
Materials
  • Support: canvas
  • medium: oil
Dimensions
  • Support: Height 762 mm, Width 1270 mm
  • Frame: Depth (overall) 75 mm, Depth 50 mm, Height 945 mm, Width 1450 mm
Alternative names
  • object category: painting
Creator
Category
art
IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUMS

© IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 4587)

Purchase & License Buy a Print
Object description

image: A coastal scene looking out to sea with an island on the left horizon. In the central foreground tanks line up for loading on board ship, through gaping red metal doors opening into a dark hold. On the right there are seven bell-tents, more tanks and a small group operating a smoke-screen generator. Beyond a central bank of trees the sea is covered with receding lines of ships in camouflage colours with a line of barrage balloons in the sky on the left. Small boats move between those at anchor and in the centre- right there is a tug-boat pulling a string of bailey-bridge pontoons.

Label

Eurich’s enigmatic composite painting of land and naval forces massing off the South Coast before D-Day gives an impression of brooding calm before the storm.The dark belt of trees across the centre of the painting obscures the transition from land to sea. The roads end in barriers of smoke or barbed wire and the only way forward is into the unknown, through the huge jaw-like hold-doors of the central ship. Camouflage netting, smoke screening and the camouflaged shipping all contribute to the sense of secrecy and hidden strength conveyed by the painting. Eurich was a marine painter living near Southampton and was very familiar with this part of the coast, overlooking the Isle of Wight. He was a salaried war artist with an honorary commission of Captain in the Royal Marines and would have been able to paint from his own observations. His wartime style has been compared to the sixteenth century Flemish painter Pieter Breughel whose work shows a similar attention to distant detail and purposeful activities. Indeed, the gaping ship’s doors seem to echo Breughel’s Mouth of Hell, making a visual equation between war and hell which agrees with Eurich’s Quaker background and beliefs.

History note

War Artists Advisory Committee Commission

Inscription

R.Eurich 1944.

Associated people and organisations
Associated places
Associated events
Associated themes
Associated keywords

IWM Non Commercial Licence

The media for this item are free to reuse for non-commercial purposes under the IWM Non Commercial Licence. Video, sound and images can be embedded with the code we offer here, and images can also be downloaded.

By downloading any images or embedding any media, you agree to the terms and conditions of the IWM Non Commercial Licence, including your use of the attribution statement specified by IWM. For this item, that is: © IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 4587)

  • Download this item
    Embed HTML
    Embed BBCode
  • Download this item
    Embed HTML
    Embed BBCode
  • Download this item
    Embed HTML
    Embed BBCode
  • Download this item
    Embed HTML
    Embed BBCode
  • Download this item
    Embed HTML
    Embed BBCode