Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich

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On Board an S-Class Submarine: up the Conning Tower

Fine art

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Object ID BHC1553
Description As an official war artist, Bone spent some time in a variety of naval shipping during the Second World War, including submarines. In this painting he has created a dynamic composition, contrasting artificial and natural light. The position of the viewer is implied by the hand on the ladder of someone standing down inside the boat in a yellow glow. The figure above is tattooed and naked to the chest; he is preparing to climb the ladder towards the daylight at the top of the conning tower, where a third figure can be seen. The conning tower was a submarine's link with the outside world. The colours in the picture are graduations of yellow from dark to light. S-class submarines carried the first radar sets for surface and air search. Stephen Bone was a prolific Admiralty war artist and a lieutenant in the RNVR. His records of the Second World War include paintings from Normandy beaches in June 1944, life on board aircraft carriers and S-class submarines, and views of dockyards around Britain. The National Maritime Museum holds some 80 oil paintings and drawings Bone produced for the War Artists Advisory Committee. This painting has been signed by the artist and is dated '1944'.
Date made 1944

Artist/Maker Bone, Stephen
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Presented by the War Artists Advisory Committee 1947
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 775 mm x 648 mm; Frame: 920 mm x 794 mm x 80 mm
  • On Board an S-Class Submarine: up the Conning Tower (BHC1553)
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