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Frank Wootton - THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN -  LIMITED EDITION PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop

by Frank Wootton

Original Retail Price $150.00
May Not Reflect Current Price

Limited Edition of: 850
Image Size: 26 1/2"w x 19 3/8"h.
Published: March 1983

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The Battle of Britain lasted officially from July 1 to October 31, 1940. This painting depicts a scene over the east of London on September 15, the Sunday when the battle was won.

The first enemy patrols arrived just after 9 a.m. sighted from the straits of Dover and the Thames Estuary to Lympne and Dungeness. The force was comprised of hundreds of bombers escorted by ME 109s. Soon, the air over southeast England became one colossal battlefield. Sixteen squadrons of RAF fighters from 11 Group, followed by five each from 10 and 12 groups, took off to engage the enemy. The German pilots could be heard called to each other over their radios, "Achtung, Schpitfeur!"

The Spitfires in the upper left in the picture are from the 609 Squadron and are led by S/Ldr Michael Robinson (killed in action the following year). He is diving to assist the pilot who has put his Spitfire in a tight turn to escape the Me 109s on his tail.

Bombs are falling on the outskirts of London from waves of bombers at different heights. Top center, 257 Squadron, led by Bob Stanford-Tuck, is diving to attack.

Different phases of the battle continued throughout the day. Winston Churchill, asking what figher reserves were available, was told, "There are none." But by 5 p.m. the tide had turned and it became obvious that the German thrust was broken and an estimated 185 of their aircraft lost on that single day.

Frank Wootton
The late Frank Wootton can be credited with giving aviation art a bold new direction, transforming the genre from illustration to fine art. A gifted young artist when WWII broke out, Wootton volunteered for the Royal Air Force, but was invited by the commander-in-chief of the Allied Air Forces to accept a special duty commission as official war artist to the R.A.F. and Royal Canadian Air Force. Thus, between 1939 and 1945, Wootton painted the conflict from the front lines of France to remote airstrips in Southeast Asia. His aerial scenes brilliantly recreated the threat of enemy fire, the split- second maneuvers of fighter planes and the triumph of victory. After the war, Wootton’s paintings gained international recognition. His works hang in major aviation museums throughout the world, and he has painted numerous state occasions involving the R.A.F. and the Royal Family. In 1983 some fifty of his paintings were exhibited at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Following his death, Wootton remains one the aviation’s most widely respected artists.


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