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Showing posts from May, 2017

Jan Gordon on War Artists in WW1

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Jan Gordon delivered a lecture on the 28th February 1943 as part of a series of six talks presented at the National Gallery on the topic of "The Artist and The War." His talk was on "The Artist and the War of 1914-18."

Shortly before this series, the National Gallery had begun showing a "Picture of the Month" as bombing raids lessened during 1942.

Jan Gordon argued that the "war has made people feel vividly the limitations of the academic school. They have begun to realise that to express things of such a nature extraordinary methods are not only permissable but essential." (Foss 2007).

He had earlier written on the war art of Paul Nash in a similar vein: "And it is precisely this clearness of understanding which makes Paul Nash's war pictures so vividly engrossing. It is not possible to paint truly how this war has swept man, because horror will not permit this truth to be told. It is possible to depict the devastation of Nature, becau…

Jan and Cora Gordon and the Pilgrimage to Fatima

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Reading about the pilgrimage of Pope Francis to Fatima in Portugal today, I was reminded of the journey Jan and Cora Gordon made there in 1933, 84 years ago. A gallery of illustrations made by the Gordons during this journey can be seen here.

It is today 100 years since three children reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary while tending sheep. Two of the children (Jacinta and Francisco Marto) died in the 1918-1919 European influenza pandemic. The third, Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, died in February 2005.

The Gordons had timed their visit in 1933 to be able to participate in the Fatima pilgrimage honouring the vision seen on May 13, 1917. "We had hurried our departure from London to reach Portugal before the 13th May. For on that date each year a remarkable pilgrimage takes place, celebrating an event, from what can be gathered, seems to be the best-authenticated account of a genuine miracle than can be offered." However, they noted that, "Catholic miracle experts ar…