Lithograph - 15-Inch Gun Turret, HMS Repulse, August 1941
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80.5cm (31.7in) x 108cm (42.5in)
Colour lithograph of the interior of one of the battleship Repulse’s gun turrets, after Barnett Freedman, issued by The Ministry of Information, published by The Baynard Press for The National Gallery, 1942. Sheet: 70.5cm x 99.5 cm. Framed and glazed.
HMS Repulse was launched in 1916 and saw action at the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1917. She was reconstructed twice between the warsand spent the first months of the Second World War hunting for German raiders and blockade runners. She participated in the Norwegian Campaign of April to June 1940 and searched for the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. Repulse escorted a troop convoy around the Cape of Good Hope from August to October 1941 and was transferred to the East Indies Command. She was assigned in November to Force Z, which was supposed to deter Japanese aggression against British possessions in the Far East. Repulse and her consort, the battleship Prince of Wales, were sunk by Japanese aircraft on 10 December 1941 when they attempted to intercept landings in British Malaya.
Barnett Freedman, CBE, RDI (1901-1958) was a British painter, commercial designer, book illustrator, typographer, and lithographer. After training at Saint Martin's School of Art, and the Royal College of Art he tried to earn his living as a painter but soon turned to book illustration. Faber gave Freedman his first major commission, an assignment to design and illustrate Siegfried Sassoon's Memoirs of an Infantry Officer. In 1935 Freedman was chosen to design the 1935 postage stamp issues to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George Vcommissioned to design a new GPO greetings telegram to commemorate the 1937 Coronation of George VI. Freedman was also employed by Ealing Films to design its logo and provide the publicity for feature films. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Freedman was employed by the War Artists' Advisory Committee and sent to France in April 1940 to record the work of the British Expeditionary Force. He was evacuated to England in May 1940 and worked on coastal defence subjects in Sheerness and the Isle of Sheppey. His full-time contract with WAAC ended in February 1941 after which WAAC purchased individual pieces from him but also offered him several short-term contracts with the Admiralty. By July 1941, Freedman was on board HMS Repulse, and produced the painting 15-inch Gun Turret, HMS Repulse from which the present point derives. He afterwards began an album of portraits of aircraft factory workers and then spent time aboard HMS Tribune. His painting Interior of a Submarine(1943), which was briefly displayed at the National Gallery, was removed from view under wartime censorship regulations. In June 1944 Freedman went to Portsmouth, before travelling to France after the D-Day landings. There he recorded scenes around the landing beaches and at the invasion headquarters.