Ellis Martin: Loading Shells - on Art WW I



Ellis Martin:
Loading Shells

Framed (ref: 9711)
Signed, pen, ink, and monochrome wash.
59.5 x 35.5ins.(151 x 90.5cm.) 

Tags: Ellis Martin stained glass war World War One and its Aftermath

This design is likely to have been for the Ordnance Survey memorial stained glass windows at Southampton. A map of Gaza  in the right hand corner indicates a Middle Eastern setting.
Ellis Martin was an accomplished commercial artist who, before the First World War, produced posters and advertising designs for firms such as Selfridges and W.H. Smith. When WWI broke out he went to France with the Royal Engineers and the Tank Corps, as an artist sketching the landscapes over which the army and its heavy vehicles would have to move. When the war ended, Martin was invited to join the Ordnance Survey which was struggling to capture the burgeoning market due to the proliferation of cheap pirated versions of OS originals. Martin’s first map cover designs appeared in 1919 and within a year the OS was reporting the highest map sales in its history. Martin continued to work for the OS until the outbreak of the Second World War, and in that time he helped make Ordnance Survey a household name; his cover designs show a bygone way of life and are much collected today.

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