Artist Alan Sorrell: Buildings on the edge of an airfield, circa 1940

Artist Alan Sorrell (1904-1974): Buildings on the edge of an airfield, circa 1940

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Alan Sorrell (1904-1974):
Buildings on the edge of an airfield, circa 1940
Unmounted (ref: 3787)

Pencil, pen and ink 
12 1/4 x 32 in. (31 x 81.3 cm)
various tears to edges and creases

See all works by Alan Sorrell ink pen and ink pencil farms/domestic animals landscape Seventy-seven pictures by Alan Sorrell

Provenance: The Artist's Family

During the Second World War Sorrell served in the RAF from 1940, where he was able to make first-hand visual records of the daily life in the Air Force. 26 of these pictures were acquired by the War Artists' Advisory Committee.  He especially took delight in recording the dynamic landforms of  the airfields where he was based.

The broad titled viewpoints that resulted from hours of flying would later inform his reconstruction drawings which were often constructed around a birds-eye view.

(detail) Construction of a runway at an Aerodrome, (copyright:The IWM). 

As was his practice with mural paintings, Sorrell made sketches and preparatory drawings, which led to the finished reconstruction drawings. These works were commissioned by the Ministry of Works (English, Welsh and Scottish Heritage), The 
Illustrated London News, television.

When he enrolled in the RAF he refused  to work on terrain models of cities he considers of "irreplaceable artistic importance", what he later referred to as his "one man mutiny".