ID number ART30064
Title The bathing beach, Mersa Matruh
Collection Art
Object type Drawing
Artist Herbert, Harold
Place made Egypt
Date made 1941
Medium watercolour over pencil heightened with white on paper
Measurement Overall: 39.1 x 73 cm

Description

Lido Hotel near bathing beach. The artist writes, 'Troops bathing at Mersa Matruh. Their costumes are "birthday suits", the white "trunks" being the only portion unsunned. Intense colour of the water-blue-purple-blue-green is accentuated by the very deep tone of the sky toward the horizon and the extreme whiteness of the sand. Mersa Matruh is practically a fortress, or armed camp. No civilians are included amongst the thousands of troops who live, mainly underground. The men appreciate the marvellous bathing beach, the hotel and the mosque on the right. The town was once a fashionable summer watering-place. The Lido Hotel, shown here, once housed the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, during a Dalmatian Cruise. Now it's a transport office, or something of that nature.' Created as part of the artist's Syrian Campaign series. The campaign involved Australian troops, mostly from the 7th Division, fighting alongside allied troops against the Vichy French in Syria and Lebanon.