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The painting features an air ambulance being loaded near Bruges. Doris Zinkeisen was the official artist for the North West Europe Commission of the Joint War Organisation of the British Red Cross and Order of St John during the Second World War. In 1945 the Joint War Organisation commissioned Doris Zinkeisen to work as a war artist recording the activities of the North West Europe Commission in supporting the post war repatriation, relief and rehabilitation of prisoners of war and civilian internees. She was stationed in Brussels at the Commission's headquarters which had been the German headquarters during the occupation. ‘I was sent all over the continent to make sketches which I brought back to work out in my studio. If the distance was too great to travel by lorry, I went to the RAF just up the road from our headquarters and got a lift by air.’ Doris was a well-known artist, trained at the Royal Academy Schools, and had exhibited her work in London, Paris and the United States. She had also helped to nurse wartime Blitz casualties in London. Both Doris and her sister Anna, who was also a talented artist, had first trained as VADs during the First World War.
oil on canvas
H 60 x W 73 cm
gift from the artist, 1946
Doris Zinkeisen 1945