- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Art
- Department Art and Memorials
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1945/01/01
- Latest 1945/12/31
- Inscription Hand - written at back of canvas: Serial No 2615 "D-DAY: THE ASSUALT, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division COURSEULLES, NORMANDY, 6th JUNE 1944 BY Capt. O.N. FISHER.
- Medium oil
- Support canvas
- Materials Not applicable
- Service Component Canadian Army
- Measurements Height 102.1 cm, Width 122.7 cm
- Caption Orville Fisher (1911 - 1999)
- Additional Information Orville Fisher's paintings of the Second World War constitute one of the most complete records of Canada's day-to-day role in that conflict. Perhaps his chief claim to fame is that he was the only Allied war artist to land in Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944. This achievement is all the more extraordinary given the fact that he almost never made it overseas in the first place. Fisher worked as a service artist with the Canadian Army beginning in February 1942, and a year later became an official war artist. He did not re-enter civilian life until July 1946. As a war artist, and undoubtedly as a person, Fisher was a determined and creative man. In preparation for the D-Day invasion, he strapped tiny waterproof pads of paper to his wrist. After racing up the beach from his landing craft, Fisher made rapid, on-the-spot sketches, using perfectly dry materials, of the battle unfolding around him. Later, the artist created larger watercolour paintings away from the battlefront. Unlike fellow war artist Charles Comfort's reconstruction of the August 1942 Dieppe Raid that was created four years after the event in the peace and security of a studio, Fisher's D-Day - The Assault was based on a real-life experience of action replete with all the turmoil and blood. Attached to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, Fisher landed on the beach at Courseulles-sur-Mer. The first 20 minutes of Stephen Spielberg's film Saving Private Ryan arguably re-creates the artist's D-Day experience in all its horror.
- Caption D-Day - The Assault, 1945
- Additional Information In a 1964 interview, Orville Fisher described landing in France on D-Day: "The noise was unbearable, even off-shore. The big battle wagons, cruisers, destroyers and rocket ships were all throwing shells at the coast. The din was terrific. The coast was a neutral landscape - greys and khaki and dark browns when the khaki uniforms got wet. The only bright colors on the beach were the flags showing where each unit was to land ... The water was literally red with blood. It ebbed and flowed with the tide ... I had a three-inch square water-color pack and a hand-sized sketch pad - with waterproof paper - that had a strap fitted over my palm. I used glycerin with water colors to make a fast series of sketches - like shorthand notes."
- Caption D-Day - The Assault
- Additional Information War artist Orville Fisher landed with the 3rd Canadian Division on Juno Beach. The Germans had tipped the beach obstacles, used for cover by Canadian soldiers, with explosives to destroy landing craft and stop advancing tanks.
- Caption D-Day: Canadians Land at Juno Beach - image credit
- Additional Information CWM, 19710261-6231
- Caption D-Day: Canadians Land at Juno Beach - image caption
D-Day - the Assault
Orville Norman Fisher, 1945,
- Caption D-Day: Canadians Land at Juno Beach
- Additional Information On June 6, 1944, Canadian airmen, sailors and soldiers played a significant role in the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, or D-Day - the largest seaborne invasion in history. The goal of the invasion was to open up a second front in Europe and to liberate the western part of the continent from Nazi German rule. On D-Day, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade assaulted “Juno” - the code name for one of the five beaches involved in the invasion. Although 359 Canadian soldiers were killed that day, Canadian forces pushed farther inland than any other landing force.