Coventry Blitz evoked in painting

A WATERCOLOUR of Coventry during the Blitz has been purchased by curators at the city’s Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, and will go on show early next year.

The painting is the work of Ernest Boye Uden, originally a commercial artist and illustrator, who, on November 14, 1940, was an auxiliary fireman sent from London to Coventry to help fight the fires.

Based on his memories of that terrible night, he re-created the scene of the city’s three spires lit by fire and engulfed in smoke.

Later, Uden became an official war artist, and many of his pictures are now kept by the Imperial War Museum.

When staff at the Coventry gallery were made aware that Uden’s daughter was selling the work in Canada, but felt that she would like the picture to by hung in the city that inspired it, a decision was taken to acquire it for the Collecting Cultures project.

Gallery spokeswoman Sally Johnson said: “The painting will go on show from February 25 next year, as part of our free Wonderful Watercolours: views of Coventry and Warwickshire exhibition.

“Alongside Uden’s work will be views of picturesque Warwickshire villages, old Coventry and familiar scenes of Kenilworth and Warwick castles.”