Sunday, September 4, 2016

Dazzle-Painted Lilies of the Field—and Pajamas

A view of camouflaged ships in dock by R. Guy Kortright (1919)
Above A painting of dazzle-painted British ships, by (Reginald) Guy Kortright (1877-1934), a Canadian-born British painter who served as a navy lieutenant in World War I. With John Everett and (Lawrence) Campbell Taylor, he was assigned not to design ship camouflage schemes, but to record his observations of such ships, through various onsite paintings. As evidenced by the one above, the results were inevitably striking.

Other sources of full-color reproductions are cited in an earlier post. The image shown here was published (along with two others by L. Campbell Taylor) in a page of full-color images in The Sphere on March 22, 1919, p. 259, with a heading on the page that reads WHEN THE DOCKS PUT ON RAIMENT AS THE LILIES OF THE FIELD. On the page before is an unsigned half-page article on DAZZLE-PAINTING AND ITS PURPOSE.


Unsigned, "Other People's Troubles: A Paris Letter" in The Sketch (October 13, 1920, p. 412)—

Paris is dazzle-mad. I think that every woman who has the courage to wear these dazzle furs that I see deserves the Legion of Honor. They are striped with great slashing streaks of white on black. Hats are dazzle hats. Dresses are dazzle dresses. Pajamas are dazzle pajamas. Everywhere are to be seen these angular lighting effects. The decorations most in favor in the very private and particular room are dazzle decorations. I seem to be existing in a weird Futurist dream.

Below A cartoon also from The Sketch (May 21, 1919, p. 226), attributed to the Daily Paper, for which the accompanying caption reads—

A Futurist friend of mine is designing his own coffin. He means it to be some funeral.

Anon, A Futurist Coffin (1919)