Hubert Arthur Finney (1905 - 1991)

Self-portrait

£2,500

SKU: 7654
Pastel

Size:
Height – 45cm
Width – 36cm

1 in stock

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Artist’s Family
Presentation:
framed

Exhibited: The Lightbox, Woking, Out of the Shadows, 2020, cat 6;  WW2 – War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October -23 November 2016, cat 147. 

Literature: WW2 – War Pictures by British Artists, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 147, page 188.

Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.315.

During the war Finney served in the Ambulance Crews of the  Air Raid Precautions Service, later named Civil Defence, for a period of  four years until ‎in 1945 he got pleurisy.   The Civil Defence  uniform consisted of  blue dungarees with the ARP badge on their left breast.

In this self portrait Finney wears a red tie – suggesting that it dates to 1945  he was convalescing (red ties had been used since the First World War to show that the wearer was ill or wounded and that he was a Serviceman).  Indeed in his unpublished autobiography  Finney records that towards the end of the war:  My health was beginning to show signs of breaking and I was sent to a Civil Defence Convalescent house after a serious bronchial cold.  I never ceased to draw and paint and I presented one painting to the Convalescent Home before I left.  I also painted a ceiling in a municipal theatre and the back stage in the depot of Kinston House and held a drawing class one evening a week for the Ambulance and Rescue Service Personnel.

In addition to the red tie hospital clothing consisted of  a dark blue serge military type suit, grey or greyish-blue shirt.

The Rescue Services – Heavy and Light – were Auxiliary Services that worked in close co-operation with the National Fire Service and the Auxiliary Fire Service.  The latter put out the fires and the former searched the wreckage of damaged buildings in order to rescue anyone who might be trapped or to remove the bodies of those who had been killed in a raid.  Some of this could be done manually (Light Branch), but heavy equipment – cranes etc – was required if major collapses had taken place (the Heavy Branch).  Debris also had to be cleared off the streets in order that the life of the town/city could return, as near as possible, to normal as soon as possible.  Essentially theirs was a clearing up job after having done their best to extricate casualties or victims.


We are grateful to Andrew Cormack and Nicholas Finney for assistance

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Liss Llewellyn are continually seeking to improve the quality of the information on their website. We actively undertake to post new and more accurate information on our stable of artists. We openly acknowledge the use of information from other sites including Wikipedia, artbiogs.co.uk and Tate.org and other public domains. We are grateful for the use of this information and we openly invite any comments on how to improve the accuracy of what we have posted.

THE ARTIST

Hubert Arthur Finney
Hubert Arthur
Finney
1905 - 1991

A reclusive figure whose work has remained largely unseen, Finney studied under Eric Gill before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in the early 1920’s; his closest friends there were Charles Mahoney,(1903-1968), Gerald Ososki (1903-1981) and Barnett Freedman (1901-1958). Finney had the good fortune to attend the RCA as part of a golden generation, many of whom went on to become some of Britain’s best loved artists (amongst them Ravilious, Bawden, Hepworth, Moore, Dunbar, Sorrell, and Piper). After a travelling scholarship to Rome, in 1929, Finney returned to become a teacher at Chelsea School of Art – working alongside Henry Moore who was in charge of the Sculpture Department and Graham Sutherland, the Department of Design.

From 1927-1934 he exhibited at the NEAC. In 1935 his painting Mother and Child was acquired by Carlisle Art Gallery. During WW2 Finney worked for the light rescue service of the Civil Defense.

After the war he taught part time under Anthony Betts at Reading University and was in charge of life drawing there when he retired in 1970. Although he was reluctant to show his work he did exhibit at the RA Summer exhibition (in 1950 and 1954) and the Portrait Society and at The Paris Salon. A large solo exhibition took place at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Education in 1964, and at The Lightbox, Woking, in 2022.

We are grateful to Nicholas Finney and David Buckman for assistance.

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Sunset over Milwaukee, 1966
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