Original lithographic poster published by the National Gallery. Printed at the Baynard Press. Commissioned by the War Artists Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Information.
Produced during Ardizzone’s time as an official war artist. In Autumn 1940, following the first German air attacks, Ardizzone was transferred to the War Office to record air raid subjects. His everyday scenes of shelter life in London are among the most celebrated of Ardizzonne’s wartime works, and were sketched from life at the scene. Depicted in this image is Tilbury shelter, a huge series of wine cellars under the railway arches at Stepney, which was estimated to offer protection to as many as 16,000 people on some nights during the Blitz. Ardizzone produced several works at Tilbury, Henry Moore would also later visit and draw there.
This lithograph is a direct adaptation of Ardizzone’s largest wartime work, the watercolour ‘Shelter Scenes, Tilbury’, now in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.