- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Art
- Department Art and Memorials
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1918/01/01
- Latest 1918/12/31
- Inscription Ler (tbv) Nevinson (handwritten in blue crayon on folded over tacking edge on top edge on back of painting). Nevinson (black crayon on top vertical cross-bar, back of stretcher.) NEVINSON; WAR IN THE AIR (black marker, back of stretcher, bottom left side.) 4 (or) #4 (in black crayon appears once on folded over tacking edge on top back, on the centre back of the canvas, on the back of the canvas in the bottom right corner and in five places on the stretcher - these numbers appear to have been used in re-assembling the stretcher and canvas.) - "Acc. 8651" in red or black marker, appears in three places on the back of the stretcher. - "3-4A" - black marker, two places on the back of stretcher. - "Canadian War Memorials, 637" circled oval ink stamp, 4 x 6.5cm, in two places: on back of vertical crossbar near bottom and on back of canvas bottom left centre
- Medium oil
- Support canvas
- Materials Not applicable
- Service Component Royal Flying CorpsRoyal Air Force
- Measurements Height 306.0 cm, Width 244.5 cm
- Caption War in the Air, 1918
- Additional Information C. R. W. Nevinson initially saw war as an ambulance driver and mechanic on the Flanders front. In July 1917 he became an official war artist working primarily for the British. "All my work," he wrote, "had to be done from rapid shorthand sketches made often under trying conditions in the front line, behind the lines, above the lines in observation balloons, over the lines in aeroplanes." War in the Air proved a difficult assignment for the already exhausted artist. The stress of painting a reconstruction of an aerial battle involving celebrated Canadian flying ace Billy Bishop finally brought about a nervous breakdown. Lord Beaverbrook suggested he turn to painting "tiny sketches," but Nevinson declined. "He dismissed me good-naturedly as another damn-fool artist who failed to appreciate what he was offering, and told me that [Sir William] Orpen was the only artist who understood the business."
- Caption War in the Air
- Additional Information This depicts an air battle involving celebrated Canadian ace Billy Bishop. As a fighter pilot, Bishop was credited with the destruction of 72 enemy aircraft.
- Caption War in the Air
War artist C.R.W. Nevinson depicts an air battle involving Canadian air ace, William ‘Billy' Bishop. Bishop's plane, with blue, white and red roundel and tail markings, fights at least three German aircraft. Bishop, the second-highest ranking Allied ace of the war, was credited with the destruction of 72 enemy aircraft.