and Canada
in the
Second World War
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Exhibition Theme - Leisure

Mess deck

Jack Nichols (b. 1921)
Mess deck, Jack Nichols, Canadian War Museum, 19710261-4303

Contemporary art critic Graham McInnes wrote of Nichols's official war art in 1950: "Groups of sailors in the sick bay, in their hammocks in the foetid below-decks atmosphere of a pitching destroyer, or snatching a few brief moments of leisure in the heat and press of convoy duty: all these convey both the sadness and the ultimate serenity of a scene from Dostoievsky." Mess deck was the last canvas Nichols completed as an official war artist. Notice how the cup held by the central figure is conveyed by a few lines scratched into the paint.

Oil on canvas 86.5 x 127.7 cm
Painted in 1946
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
Canadian War Museum 19710261-4303

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