Hover over the painting to magnify (there may be an initial delay while the magnified image is loaded)
Eleanor Chilton Price (1901-1985):
Open for Business as Usual, 1943
Framed (ref: 5807)
Signed and dated
Ink and watercolour on gesso primed card
9 x 7 ins. (23 x 18 cm)
Exhibited: WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October -23 November 2016, cat 37.
Literature: WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 37, page 75.
Surrounded by the devastation of bombed-out buildings supported by wooden props, this street market nevertheless continues to provide service and enjoys a flourishing trade. The artist was clearly making the point that 'life must go on' and thereby was both supporting and celebrating the morale and resilience of the civilian population. Quite how the strict rationing of furnishing or dress fabrics would have worked in these circumstances it is difficult to say, and maybe 'deals' were to be had in this type of market that could not be found in formally regulated shops. But life had to go on, and a bargain is still a bargain.
We are grateful to Andrew Cormack for the above note