Second Officer Dorothy Robson - Charles McCall, R.O.I., N.E.A.C. (1907-1989)
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Overall: 54cm (21.2in) x 50cm (19.8in)
Oil on board. Head and shoulders portrait of Auxiliary Territorial Service officer Dorothy Robson ’Miss Dorothy Robson - A.T.S. Officer at No.6 Formation College, 1945’. Signed and dated ‘MaCall 1943’. Inscribed on labels verso, 40.6cm (16in) x 35.6cm (14in).
During the Second World War McCall was commissioned into the Royal Engineers and served in a camouflage unit. He also had work accepted the War Artists’ Advisory Committee (W.A.A.C.) headed by Sir Kenneth Clark, which set out to compile a comprehensive artistic record of Britain throughout the war.
Charles James McCall (1907-1989) was educated in Edinburgh, and worked for a law firm, while studying in the evenings at Edinburgh College of Art. At 23 he won a scholarship to Edinburgh College, sponsored by his teacher David Macbeth Sutherland. He trained under David Foggie and the Scottish Post-Impressionist S.J. Peploe. Scholarships in the mid-1930s took McCall extensively around Europe, and for much of 1937 he studied in Paris under Othon Friesz at the Atelier Colarossi. On his return he was awarded a two-year fellowship in Edinburgh. A painter, mainly in oil, especially of small, intimate interiors, and street scenes in London and France. His work is noted for a strong sense of colour, painterliness and an awareness of French influences such as Vuillard. After his release from the Army McCall resumed his well begun painting career, ably assisted by his wife Eloise (Mitzi), a wartime WAAF and latterly press officer and a Companion of the New English Art Club, who devoted herself to the tireless promotion of her husband's career and reputation both during his life and posthumously, and contributed largely to his success. McCall consequently gradually built up an impressive series of one-man shows in England, North America, Canada and Ireland, venues including Leicester Galleries; Waddington Gallery, Dublin; and Belgrave Gallery. Christie’s held a large retrospective in 1995.