and Canada
in the
Second World War
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Exhibition Theme - Battle

HMS Ark Royal in action

Eric Ravilious (1903-1942)
HMS Ark Royal in action, Eric Ravilious, Imperial War Museum, ART LD 284

Ravilious's description of HMS Ark Royal firing its guns is not just a wonderful piece of design that plays with the light and sound of fireworks; it also captures the frozen terror of the awesome firepower of the weaponry. This has a sublime beauty, not just because of the ship's frightening strength, but because the brightness of the explosion temporarily conceals the precarious position of the crew utterly dependent on the metal boat for their lives at sea.

Watercolour on paper 42.5 x 57.7 cm
Painted on board HMS Highlander, near Norway, 1940
Imperial War Museum ART LD 284

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