This painting was in the exhibition curated by Mark Wallinger “The Russian Linesman: Frontiers, Borders and Thresholds” at the Hayward gallery.

As the accompanying text describes their technique in drawing from an airplane (note its 1919), the painting tells nothing of the experience of being in the plane, only the distanced, overarching view.  A small plume of smoke is all that speaks of time and living.


label text:

Richard Carline
Jerusalem and the Dead Sea from an Aeroplane, 1919
Oil on canvas
Imperial War Museum

Just after the First World War, Richard Carline and his brother Sydney were jointly commissioned by the Imperial War Museum to make a pictorial ‘panorama’ of the Middle East from the air. Sydney Carline described their method: ‘one has to work very quickly, because of the rapidly changing scene. Our plan, therefore, was to fly to and fro over the selected view until one had sufficient details to complete the picture on landing’. As he pointed out, ‘seen from the air, historic places seem to take on their more permanent aspect, since one’s attention is not disturbed by the modern and incidental details’.

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