Charles Pears (1873 - 1958)

Bristol Blenheim setting fire to German oil tanker, circa 1940

SKU: 9126
Signed, inscribed with title below image
Oil on canvas laid down on board
13 3/8 x 22 1/8 in. (34 x 56 cm)

Height – 34cm
Width – 56cm


The Artist’s Studio; Private collection

Pears was arguably the greatest marine artist of his generation – and excelled in painting scenes of combat. During WW2 Germany, like Britain had no oil reserves. Oil tankers made easy targets for both sides (the allies using mostly air craft and the Germans using mostly U-boats to destroy each others supplies). 

We are grateful to Andrew Cormack for assistance

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Charles Pears
1873 - 1958

Marine painter and lithographer, born at Pontefract, Yorkshire. Pears worked initially as a black-and-white artist for magazines from the late 189os, serving as a theatrical caricaturist for Pick-Me-Up. During World War I he was an Official War Artist for the Admiralty, a position he repeated during World War Il, and he gradually established a reputation as a sound marine painter with a strong sense of design. He was founder and first president of the RSMA and his work found its way into the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and the Imperial War Museum. However, as a versatile draughtsman he also did many posters and illustrated Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1922, and the works of Charles Dickens. He wrote a number of books, such as From the Thames to the Seine, 1910, and South Coast Cruising from the Thames to Penzance, 1931. Exhibited widely, including RA, ROI and Fine Art Society. Lived at St Mawes, Cornwall.


Charles Pears (1873 - 1958)
Nocturne: A Ship and a Tug Boat
Charles Pears (1873 - 1958)
Bristol Blenheim setting fire to German oil tanker, circa 1940
Charles Pears (1873 - 1958)
The Mosquite and the Eagle: A Nazi seaplane drops a mine in the Fairway, circa 1941