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Frank Wootton - ENCOUNTER WITH THE RED BARON -  LIMITED EDITION PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop

by Frank Wootton

Original Retail Price $165.00
May Not Reflect Current Price

Limited Edition of: 850
Image Size: 31"w x 21 1/4"h.
Published: February 1988

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Between 1916 and 1918, Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, shot down eighty Allied planes. Even though he did not survive the war, no other World War I aviator equalled this record, making him the war's top scoring ace. He was emulated by other German airmen, feared by his enemies and admired by both for his flying and fighting skill.

Manfred von Richthofen was born May 2, 1892, to an old landed Prussian family. In 1912, he followed in his father Major Albrecht Baron von Richthofen's footsteps and enlisted in the army, but found the ground war, even on horseback, a muddy chaos promising little glory. He transferred to the Imperial Air Service's Jasta II (hunting squadron) in 1916 and after several kills, painted his Albatros D-III scout scarlet, earning his his "nom de guerre," the Red Baron.

In 1917, Richthofen was awarded the "Pour le Merite," a medal called the Blue Max, which was roughly equivalent to the British Victoria Cross and the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor, after he had brought down sixteen enemy planes. He was given command of Jasta 11 and later that year, command of JF(Jagdeschwader: hunting wing) which commanded Jasta 4, 6, 10 and 11. The aviators under his command began painting their own planes in bright colors and British pilots dubbed JGI "Richthofen's Flying Circus."

The red Albatros scout was exchanged in August 1917 for a prototype Fokker and over the next months, the Red Baron flew several models, each painted scarlet, of this maneuverable, tight-turning plane. On April 21, 1918, JG 1, with Richthofen in command, engaged RAF Squadron No. 209, commanded by Capt. Arthur R. Brown, in an air battle near Sailly-le-sec, Somme, France. The battle raged over Allied field artillery and the Red Baron was shot down. Both RAF Squadron No. 209 and the Australian Field Artillery's 53rd Battery claimed the kill but whatever unit was responsible, the Red Baron's war had ended.

"Here I've portrayed the Red Baron in a Fokker Dr-1 triplane engaging a British S.E. 5a during an air battle between the German JG 1 and British RAF Squadron No. 56."

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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