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Ronald Olley (b.1923) - Signed c. 2000 Acrylic, The Incendiary Bomb



A poignant and emotive preparatory painting by British artist Ronald Olley. The scene portrays three soldiers escaping the flames of an incendiary device, one holding a bayoneted gun. The scene is characteristic of the Second World War, and the artist's research and personal experience of war is evident. Flames burst upwards, surrounding the figures entirely, and the use of aggregate in the palette adds texture and definition. The overall work conveys both the physical and emotional impact of the war years. Signed. On board.


The upper strip of backing card has been cut and reattached to the main artwork with some wrinkling to the page. With a small loss to the paint visible to the center of the artwork.


33.9 x 40.5cm (13.3" x 15.9")

Collection Information

Sulis Fine Art is proud to present this fine collection of works from the studio of the British artist Ronald Olley. Some of the works bear the stamp 'ORO', which stands for Owen Ronald Olley, the artist's birth name.

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Artist Biography

Ronald Olley was born in 1923, and studied at both the Harrow Art School and the Central School, London. His father served as a soldier throughout the First World War, and Olley joined the army in 1942. He witnessed the bombing of Bath, England, before being stationed at El Alamein in Egypt, and Italy.

As well as landscape and figure painting, Olley has had numerous commissions for portraits, mainly of women and children. As one of the last artists to paint World War II from personal experience, a significant part of his portfolio depicts battlegrounds and war-torn landscapes. These have been painted using significant research and photographs, alongside Olley's own knowledge of the front line.

His work has been shown at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of British Artists, as well as in exhibitions at the Medici Gallery and at Duncan Campbell. His pictures have been bought by collectors in Europe, the USA, Australia, Africa and Japan.

More Information
Code pr950
Artist Ronald Olley (b.1923)
Date c. 2000
Dimensions 33.9 x 40.5cm
Framed No
Medium Acrylic
Style Postimpressionism
Subject Military
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