Violet Nellie Garrod (1898-1982) 'Front Line, 1941'
Original Oil painting on Canvas by Violet Nellie Garrod in its original frame
Oil on Canvas
Unframed size 16 × 20 ins (41 × 51 cms)
Framed size 24 × 28 ins (61 × 71 cms)
A twentieth century British artist of which little is known, she was a portrait painter and miniaturist who had a number of works accpted for the Royal Academy Summer exhibition. The daughter of a wine broker, Violet grew up in Hertfordshire but was living in Bournemouth during the Second War when this was painted. She moved to Lymington in Hampshire and by the 1960s was settled in Suffolk where she gave painting lessons privately, her students included the painter Evangeline Dickson. She never married and died in Pool in Dorset in 1982.
This is a strong historical image, a fascinating document of a civilian experience of the Home Front during the Second War. The artist's home on the South coast would have been the first line of defence for the expected German invasion. Still very much a reality in 1941. I imagine the bemused white haired man watching the barbed wire being laid at the bottom of their garden is Violet's father. No doubt remembering the barbed wire that dominated his generations experiences in France only a couple of decades earlier.