Shared Experience: Art and War
In the Shelter
This view of the interior of a blockhouse shelter during the London Blitz is one of many images that were commissioned and purchased by the War Artists Advisory Committee: the British government was anxious to show how the civilian population coped under fire and how adequate provision had been made for their defence. Ardizzone’s painting is typically comic; the couple, asleep on their feet, counterbalance precariously above a child, and the figure behind is clearly snoring. There is also an obvious tenderness in his painting, along with a recognition of the uncomfortable conditions.