The War Paintings of Anthony Gross

When the war broke out Anthony Gross, was working in Paris with Hector Hoppin on a cartoon animation of Around the World in 80 Days. With the help of Eric Kennington and Edward O’Rorke Dickey, Gross became a war artist in 1939. He travelled to Middle East, India, Burma and North West Europe. While Gross was working in his Cairo hotel room, he met Edward Bawden for the first time, Bawden had burst in, and said “What the hell are you doing here?”, he was under the misapprehension that Gross was there to replace him, but Gross was there to follow the 9th Army and so Bawden relaxed and they became friends.

Gross and Bawden in Cairo being silly with a postcard

Anthony Gross is one of the artists who like Edward Ardizzone, has a style so distinctive it is like handwriting. His work is rather like Raoul Dufy, in that elements of the drawing tend to become transparent to compliment the drama of what is happening, but it might also be down to him working on the sport and then adding the colour washing in his evenings.

Anthony Gross – The 50th (Northumbrian) Division, 1944

Anthony Gross – Sandbags in Bethnal Green, 1940

Anthony Gross – Final Stages of the German War: Krupp’s Works at Essen, 1945

Anthony Gross – Gateway into Germany: The Maas in Flood near the Berg Bridge, 1944

Anthony Gross – Desert Patrol, 1942

Anthony Gross – Liberation and Battle of France: The Fall of the Arsenal at Cherbourg, 1944

Anthony Gross – Liberation and Battle of France: Cherbourg, Battalion H.Q. of the East Yorks, 1944

Anthony Gross – Fire in a Paper Warehouse, 1940

Anthony Gross – The 50th (Northumbrian) Division, 1944

Rather like Henry Moore, Gross was able to document the lives of people in the London Underground stations as well.

Anthony Gross – Southwark Tunnel, 1940

Anthony Gross – Southwark Tunnel, 1940