Treasures of London – ‘Naval Officers of World War I’…

NPG_818_1271_NavalOfficersoHidden away in storage for decades, this sizeable portrait of 22 senior navy figures of World War I has recently gone on public display at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the institution’s commemoration of the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War. The work of Sir Arthur Stockdale Cope, Naval Officers of World War I was painted in 1921 and had been in storage due to its “delicate condition”. Using £20,000 raised through a public appeal last year, the painting and its frame have recently gone five months of restoration work which has seen it restored to health. The painting was one of three commissioned by financier and public servant Sir Abraham Bailey in the aftermath of the war – both of the other two paintings, Sir James Guthrie’s Statesmen of World War I and John Singer Sargent’s General Officers of World War I are continuously on display in Room 30. Among those depicted in Cope’s work are Admirals Jellicoe and Beatty and Rear-Admiral Hood. The work, which measures more than five metres across, can be seen in Room 32 of the National Portrait Gallery, just off Trafalgar Square. Admission is free. For more, see PICTURE: © National Portrait Gallery, London

One thought on “Treasures of London – ‘Naval Officers of World War I’…

  1. The Cope painting reminds me of Nicholson’s huge work called Canadian Headquarters Staff, 1918. It is at the Beaverbrook Collection of War Art in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa.

    Both paintings seemed to avoid the normal nationalist glamour and theatrical drama associated with winning World War One. Rather they are quiet, thoughtful and perhaps a touch anxious.

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