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Veronica as a Clown

© the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Penlee House Gallery & Museum

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John Armstrong was a well-known artist and film designer. After the war he lived at Oriental Cottage in Lamorna with his third wife Veronica (née Sibthorp). Until 1955, his imagination was fuelled by the power of the wartime bombing and, as an Air Raid warden, he had particular insights into the violence of bombing and both the fragility and stupidity of the human condition. A series of paintings appeared after the war, during the period that atom bombs were being developed, which used the clown motif to describe mankind and the ragged umbrella as a symbol of the futility of so-called defences.

Penlee House Gallery & Museum





oil on canvas


H 63.5 x W 50 cm

Accession number

NELNG : 1991.7

Acquisition method

on loan from Newlyn Art Gallery

Work type


Penlee House Gallery & Museum

Morrab Road, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 4HE England

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