- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Art
- Department Art and Memorials
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1946/01/01
- Latest 1946/12/31
- Inscription Verso: backing board, lower right: printed and typed label: catalogue #17; LONDON REGIONAL ART GALLERY; 421 Ridout Street North, London, Ontario N6A 5H4 (519) 672-4580; ARTIST COMFORT, CHARLES; TITLE DIEPPE RAID; SIZE 91.4 x 152.4cm DATE; MEDIUM oil on canvas; EXHIBITION Lest We Forget/Souvenons-Nous; back of stretcher, upper right, in graphite: 1st GRD. LEAD 25 JAN 46.; 2nd GRD. LEAD 18 FEB46. Painting; description typed on 3 paper labels glued to stretcher's cross-bar: "DIEPPE RAID"; Painted by Major C.F. Comfort; This canvas is an effort to reconstruct the scene; on "RED" and "WHITE" beach fronting the town of DIEPPE; when the great reconnaissance in force was undertaken at; dawn 19 Aug 42; Troops of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry are; attacking across the shingle of "Red" beach toward the; Casino shown at the right. The time is 0540 hrs.; or; fifteen minutes after the first flight of tanks touched; down (Para. 208, C.O. R.). The tobacco factory burns in; the town, while overhead Bostons lay smoke over the; feature "Bismark", and the town. (Para. 186, C.O.R.). Great care has been taken to represent the topography: of the scene with reasonable accuracy. The width, gradient and character of the beach, the Casino now; demolished, Fisherman's Church, the piers and the sea -; wall are all properly related one to the other.; Material consulted to implement this reconstruction; included the following; -; D.H.S. Rpts. Nos. 83, and 130. Combined Operation: Rpt. On Opn "JUBILEE". The official German Rpt.; on the operation. The official German film.; Official photographs, and maps, etc., etc.; Typed and hand-written label also on stretcher's cross bar: Artist Major C.F. Comfort; Title DIEPPE RAID; Property of; Return Address The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; Insurance Value $
- Medium oil
- Support canvas
- Materials Not applicable
- Measurements Height 92.0 cm, Width 152.7 cm
- Caption Charles Comfort (1900 - 1994)
- Additional Information Comfort's war began in October 1939 when he became a rifle instructor with the Canadian Officers' Training Corps. In February 1943 he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Canadian Active Service Force to serve as an official war artist. He had supported the idea of a war art program from the beginning in the full knowledge that Canada had successfully pioneered such a scheme during the First World War. In England Comfort depicted the Corps of the Royal Canadian Engineers and the 16th Battery, Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment. In Italy he joined the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, painting principally the Ortona and Liri Valley battles. The artist later published his war diaries in a volume entitled Artist at War (1956). From 1960 to 1965 Comfort served as director of the National Gallery of Canada. While the National Gallery had had custody of the War Art Collections since 1946, it was only under Comfort that a Curator of War Art was appointed. During that time Comfort's commitment to war art showed itself in the funds made available for the proper storage and care of the collections and in the many important acquisitions in which he was personally involved. Some of the most popular Canadian paintings of the Second World War are Comfort's work. These include The Hitler Line, a dramatic subject based on the artist's experiences in the Italian campaign, which hangs permanently in the Canadian War Museum. Comfort's careful reconstruction of the events of the ill-fated Dieppe Raid is another well-known composition. It is in the many watercolour sketches completed near the field of battle, however, that we see the artist's response to war. The Italian landscape dazzled him, and many of his lyrical sketches pay homage to this civilized land torn apart by conflict. Because Comfort was always striving for accuracy in depicting the men and machinery of war, frustration sometimes emerged. Then, his brush exploded over the paper as a series of paintings all titled Battle Scene (Fantasy). These works convey the artist's awareness of the fragility of human life in wartime and his anger at the senseless destruction he witnessed. Comfort could be inspired by a particularly stirring scene, as his painting Spitfires Flying Low over Raviscanina shows. In this watercolour the felled tree trunk acts as a counterpoint to the pair of speeding aircraft above. The landscape is forced into the background in the face of the urgency of war.
- Caption Dieppe Raid, 1946
- Additional Information The disastrous Dieppe Raid of August 19, 1942, resulted in 70 per cent of the 4963 Canadians who participated being killed, wounded or taken prisoner. Charles Comfort reconstructed the event from written records, personal recollections and photographs.
- Caption Dieppe Raid - image credit
- Additional Information CWM, 19710261-2183
- Caption Dieppe Raid - image caption
Charles Fraser Comfort, 1946,
- Caption Dieppe Raid
- Additional Information Designed to test the ability of the Allies to conduct amphibious assaults, the raid on the French coastal town of Dieppe in August 1942 involved almost 5,000 Canadian soldiers, Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft and other Allied troops. The raid was a disaster. Operation Jubilee, as it was known, was plagued with problems of leadership and poor planning. The German casualties were light, but 907 Canadians died, 2,460 were wounded and a further 1,946 were taken prisoner.