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The pick of The Tank Museums art collection is going on temporary display...

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The Tank Museum is hosting a temporary exhibition to display some of the finest paintings in its collection of artwork.


As the Museum enters its `War Paint` themed Half Term week, the exhibition aims to provide a unique insight in to the artistic endeavours of tank men and their experiences of war. Engaging in combat and the day-to-day existence of a soldier will all be examined in this specially assembled and rarely seen collection of paintings.


To coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory at the Battle of El Alamein, one part of the exhibition will focus particularly on scenes of desert warfare from World War Two and beyond.


One group of artists took their inspiration directly from their time serving during the North Africa campaign; Barnett, Ingram and Manning’s artwork exemplifies the many different facets of war.


Manning’s pen and wash sepia drawings shows scenes of entertainment, and the practicalities of war. And whilst Barnett focuses on the beautiful and unusual foreign landscapes, Ingram’s art comes from the heart of the action.



Above: Works by Manning, Barnett and Ingram.


Renowned military illustrator, Malcolm McGregor’s drawings give an excellent insight in to the uniforms that would have been worn in the desert on all sides. His illustration of a Gefreitor in the Afrika Korps, for instance, shows the high-laced boots and tropical field blouse that made up the typical basic uniform worn by the German soldiers throughout the desert campaign.


Matthew Cook, who went on tour as part of the Territorial Army during the war in Afghanistan, has also produced a thought-provoking collection of illustrations which gives the spectator an insight in to a far more modern kind of tank and desert warfare.



Above: Works by McGregor, Kennington (x2) and Cook.


Another art installation will take a look at the men behind the tanks. The exhibition consists solely of portraits, featuring men of all ranks and fame. Famous war artist Eric Kennington features prominently here, and particularly poignant is his so-called ‘ghost-portrait’ of Lawrence of Arabia. His impressive portrait of Sir Ernest Swinton, credited with influencing the adoption of the tank during World War One, will also be on display.

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