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WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services
  • WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services
  • WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services
  • WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services
  • WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services
  • WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services
  • WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services
  • WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services
  • WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services
  • WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services
  • WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services
  • WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services

WWII Painting by Helen McKie of Women in the Armed Services

Price:

£550.00


Product Description

A very attractive c1940 British Propaganda watercolour painting of three beautiful young women belonging to all three arms of the British Forces. It shows the women dressed in Royal Navy, Army and RAF uniforms and appears to be the original artwork for either a recruitment advert poster, or illustration cover for a book. The painting is signed HELEN McKIE. It has a series of pencil marks over it denoting editing prior to printing. The painting has been mounted, framed and glazed and is in very good condition. Helen Madeleine McKie’s work is very sought after and her postwar 1947 posters of Waterloo Station and Southern Railway by Baynard Press, London, fetch thousands of pounds.

Helen Madeleine McKie (1889–1957) was a British artist and illustrator. She was born in Bayswater, London, and was educated at the Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston and later studied at the Lambeth School of Art. She earned her living from the outset as an illustrator, early on sending back illustrations from a visit to Russia to British newspapers. In 1914 she was in Paris. The following year she joined the permanent staff of the Bystander magazine, where she remained until 1929, also contributing freelance work to numerous other periodicals, as well as producing artwork for numerous dust-jackets.

Her work was written up in glowing terms by the Hippodrome magazine in 1925 – “In the pages of our bright and leading contemporary, the Bystander, each week, the refreshing and clever drawings of Miss Helen McKie are known to all lovers of the black and white art. Few are better able to appreciate the power of characterisation than this gifted exponent of draughtsmanship, and her many military types – from the characteristic and humorous point of view – have won for her the sobriquet of ‘The Soldiers’ Friend’. A young girl with a delightful personality and a charm of her own that, like her drawings, lingers In the mind, Helen McKie is perhaps in the zenith of her joy when depicting the Beau Brummell or D’Orsay type, or giving us those fine character types that are symbolic of various nationalities … The artist is not merely a cartoonist, but she is inspired with the inner knowledge of the subjects she depicts”.

Queen Mary purchased one of her pictures at an exhibition in 1928 – she had become one of the most popular artists of the period. She travelled quite widely and probably the most extraordinary episode of her career came when she was allowed to sketch inside Hitler’s inner sanctum in Munich in 1931, two years before he came to power. Her album of sketches, including one of Hitler himself, came up at auction in 2011. She noted inside it, “Sketched in Hitler’s Brown House Munich by special permission of Hitler’s aide-de-camp Bruelenen – I was the only woman ever allowed to sketch here”. In a rather remarkable double, she was invited in 1943 to paint The Upper War Room at the Admiralty for presentation to Sir Winston Churchill, who appears in the picture. In the later period, she undertook a great deal of work for the Southern Railway, including the well-known and much-reproduced posters Waterloo Station – War and Waterloo Station – Peace. She also designed murals for the Ritz Hotel, several of Billy Butlin’s holiday-camps, the Ford factory at Dagenham, and Selfridge’s. She died on 28th February 1957, leaving a relatively modest estate of a few thousand pounds. She never married and spent much of her time in later life with her younger sister.

Size Image: 34.5 x 38 cm (13 5/8 x 15 inches)
Size frame: 55 x 51 x 1.5 cm (21 5/8 x 20 1/8 x 5/8 inches)
Weight: 1882 g

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