Forward Portraits: British 20th C, Wales: Artists and Subjects 7 Who painted this portrait of RAF gunner Vivian Parry?

NWM_OYM_9_2020-001
Topic: Artist

Can anyone please help identify the artist who painted this portrait of Vivian Parry? Vivian Parry served with the RAF as a gunner during the Second World War. He was killed in action in 1942 when his Wellington bomber was downed by enemy fire. He was the son of Sarah Olwen Parry, Captain Vivian Hewitt's housekeeper. Captain Vivian Hewitt (1888-1965) was born to a wealthy brewing family in Grimsby but moved to north Wales with his mother after his father died. He later moved to Cemlyn on Anglesey and established a bird sanctuary in the grounds of his house, Bryn Aber. We believe Capt. Hewitt (known affectionately as the modest millionaire) would have commissioned this painting by an established portrait artist, but unfortunately there are no signatures or inscriptions on the work.

Oriel Môn, Entry reviewed by Art UK

7 comments

Louis Musgrove,

Sorry I'm wrong- badge for Air Gunner-But DFC and R.A.F Volunteer Reserve badge. I didn't look with my glasses on !

Louis Musgrove,

Could it have been done recently from a photo by someone like Geoff Nutkins???
Otherwise -if contemporary to WW2 could it be Frank Ernest Beresford?- who had a similar style to this.

Jacinto Regalado,

The vital dates for the sitter should be given in the Art UK entry.

Marcie Doran,

I searched for military painters from 1950 who had important sitters and an artificial look to their work. I believe that the artist was Arthur Douglas Wales-Smith (1888-1966), a British artist.

In this portrait at the National Maritime Museum, the shirt and tie, gold buttons, and hazy background are similar to those in the mystery portrait.

“Sir Dudley Pound (1877–1943)”
https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/sir-dudley-pound-18771943-175964/search/actor:wales-smith-arthur-douglas-18881966/page/1/view_as/grid

In this portrait at the National Maritime Museum, the shirt and tie, orange skin and hazy background are similar to those in the mystery portrait.

“George VI (1895–1952)”
https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/george-vi-18951952-175960

Louis Musgrove,

Marcie- yes Arthur Wales Smith is very similar.Perhaps with a bit more detail? Don't know if he would have painted lower ranks.Of course there is our old friend Guy Lidell? My guess would be someone local that Vivian Hewitt would know.
BTW. Is this definitely painted in oils?? Might it be acrylic?

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