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Spitfires Over St Michaels Mount by Robert Taylor. - Cranston Fine Arts Aviation, Military and Naval Art
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Spitfires Over St Michaels Mount by Robert Taylor.

Spitfires Over St Michaels Mount by Robert Taylor.

Robert has chosen to show a Spitfire in the Battle of Britain colours of No 41 Squadron for his romantic portrayal of a Spitfire over St Michaels Mount, just off the coast of Cornwall - where the southwest corner of the British Isles meets the mighty Atlantic. This famous and historic landmark dating back to the Iron Age is steeped in folklore and legend. The castle of St Michaels Mount, perched atop a great granite rock that rises majestically out of the sea in Mounts Bay, for centuries made a tempting site for fighting forces. Here Robert cleverly uses this historic fort to provide a symbolic backdrop to a wonderful study of one of the most beautiful aircraft ever built.
Item Code : DHM2593Spitfires Over St Michaels Mount by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
PRINT Signed limited edition of 450 prints.

Print paper size 21 inches x 20 inches (53cm x 51cm) Ayerst, Peter V
Blair, Ian
Evans, Ken
+ Artist : Robert Taylor

Signature(s) value alone : 135
£50 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £150.00

EXCLUSIVE website offer from Cranston Fine Arts - FREE art print(s) supplied with the above item!

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FREE PRINT : Where Thoroughbreds Play by Ivan Berryman.

This complimentary art print worth £45
(Size : 12 inches x 9 inches (31cm x 23cm))
has been specially chosen by Cranston Fine Arts to complement the above edition, and will be sent FREE with your order.

This item can be viewed or purchased separately in our shop, HERE


Buy With :
Ramrod by Robert Taylor (B)
for £240 -
Save £190

Buy With :
Summer of 44 by Nicolas Trudgian.
for £320 -
Save £120
All prices on our website are displayed in British Pounds Sterling

Other editions of this item : Spitfires Over St Michaels Mount by Robert Taylor. DHM2593
Limited edition of 25 artist proofs.

Print paper size 21 inches x 20 inches (53cm x 51cm) Ayerst, Peter V
Blair, Ian
Evans, Ken
+ Artist : Robert Taylor

Signature(s) value alone : 135
General descriptions of types of editions :

Signatures on this item
The signature of Flight Lieutenant Ken Evans DFC

Flight Lieutenant Ken Evans DFC
*Signature Value : £40

Joining the RAF in 1939, Ken Evans was posted to 600 Squadron, where he flew night operations. In September 1941 he was posted to 130 Squadron to fly Spitfires, and in early 1942 was ordered to Malta. Arriving in Gibraltar he joined the carrier HMS Eagle. On 18 May he flew his Spitfire to Malta from the Eagle, to join 126 Squadron. Seeing much action over the island in June and July, in August he returned to Gibraltar to lead a new flight back to Malta, this time embarking on the carrier HMS Furious. One of 126 Squadrons most successful pilots on Malta, Ken was awarded the DFC on 1st December 1942, and credited with 5 destroyed, 3 probables and 3 damaged. Commissioned on Malta, he returned to the UK, and in September 1943 was posted to 165 Squadron as a flight commander.

The signature of Squadron Leader Ian Blair DFM (deceased)

Squadron Leader Ian Blair DFM (deceased)
*Signature Value : £50

Ian Blair joined 113 Squadron in 1938 as a AC1/Armourer AG. on Hawker Hind and later Blenheim Mk 1s. He took part in the heavy fighting of the first Lybian campaign. He was forced to take control and fly the Blenheim airceaft after his pilot was killed following an attack by an Italian Fiat CR 42. Remarkably he managed not only to evade the enemy aircraft, but fly to fly the Blenheim 350 miles back to his base where he made a succesful textbook landing. This extraordinary action earned him the award of an immediate DFM. Ian Blair said about the event :
The day before, we had been sent out to bomb an enemy airfield at Derna, about 400 miles west of Alexandria. We were in a Blenheim bomber, and I was the observer. That's the guy in the front who does the navigation and drops the bombs. But as soon as I had released the bombs, a fighter-plane attacked us.
Glasgow-born Sqn Ldr Blair still has the blood-stained flight log he made that day. The pencil entries end suddenly. He said : There was an almighty bang. When I looked round, the pilot - a chap called Reynolds - was slumped forward on the controls. I think it was the very last round that killed him. It was really unfortunate. His luck had run out. Then the aircraft went into a steep dive.
Despite having never flown an aircraft in his life before that moment, the young airman - paid one shilling and sixpence per day extra to fill in as part-time air crew - took charge. He said : From that moment the only thing going through my mind was survival. Everything happened so quickly, and we had to get the heck out of there. I managed to pull the pilot's body off his seat and get the aircraft under control. But we still had to get home and land the thing. My gunner, Hank, sent a message back to base saying: 'We're in dire trouble here, the observer is flying the aircraft.' Lo and behold, when we got back to base there was whole gallery of people, cars, ambulances and fire tenders all lined up waiting for the ultimate - but it didn't happen. I had spent a long time watching pilots, and made a textbook landing. We came down in a shower of dust. Perhaps I was a bit over-confident. The air officer commanding the base apparently said: 'If that guy can fly an aircraft without a pilot's course, let's send him on a pilot's course.'
He was presented with his DFM by George VI. The experience led him to train as a pilot at No 4 SFTS RAF Habbaniya, where the No 6 War Course were heavily engaged in operations to raize the siege of the base from the Iraqi Army. He was finally awarded his wings in May 1941. On return to the UK he served with 501 Squadron on combat duties on Spitfire Mk V's until injured as a result of enemy action. On return to flying duties he was posted to 602 Squadron flying MkV's and MkIX's until June 1944. In February 1944, he claimed a high altitude victory by destroying a Me.109 F at an altitude of 35,000 feet, flying a Spitfire Mk.VII H.F.

The signature of Wing Commander Peter V Ayerst DFC (deceased)

Wing Commander Peter V Ayerst DFC (deceased)
*Signature Value : £45

Peter Ayerst joined the RAF in 1938, and was posted to 73 Squadron in August 1939, flying Hurricanes. He went to France with the squadron, scoring his first victory in April 1940. After a spell instructing, when he shared in the destruction of a He111 with two other instructors, he had postings with both 145 and 243 Squadrons. In July 1942 he went to 33 Squadron, before promotion to flight commander with 238 Squadron, both postings with further combat success. After a period in South Africa, he returned to the UK, joining 124 Squadron flying Spitfire MkVIIs in defence of the invasion ports, where he scored his final victory; then flew Spitfire MkIXs on bomber escorts to Germany. He later became a Spitfire test pilot at Castle Bromwich. Peter finished the war not only a brilliant fighter Ace, but also one of the most highly regarded wartime instructors in the RAF. His final victory tally stood at 5 destroyed, 1 probable, 3 damaged and 2 further destroyed on the ground. Peter Ayerst died on 15th May 2014.
The Aircraft :
SpitfireRoyal Air Force fighter aircraft, maximum speed for mark I Supermarine Spitfire, 362mph up to The Seafire 47 with a top speed of 452mph. maximum ceiling for Mk I 34,000feet up to 44,500 for the mark XIV. Maximum range for MK I 575 miles . up to 1475 miles for the Seafire 47. Armament for the various Marks of Spitfire. for MK I, and II . eight fixed .303 browning Machine guns, for MKs V-IX and XVI two 20mm Hispano cannons and four .303 browning machine guns. and on later Marks, six to eight Rockets under the wings or a maximum bomb load of 1,000 lbs. Designed by R J Mitchell, The proto type Spitfire first flew on the 5th March 1936. and entered service with the Royal Air Force in August 1938, with 19 squadron based and RAF Duxford. by the outbreak of World war two, there were twelve squadrons with a total of 187 spitfires, with another 83 in store. Between 1939 and 1945, a large variety of modifications and developments produced a variety of MK,s from I to XVI. The mark II came into service in late 1940, and in March 1941, the Mk,V came into service. To counter the Improvements in fighters of the Luftwaffe especially the FW190, the MK,XII was introduced with its Griffin engine. The Fleet Air Arm used the Mk,I and II and were named Seafires. By the end of production in 1948 a total of 20,351 spitfires had been made and 2408 Seafires. The most produced variant was the Spitfire Mark V, with a total of 6479 spitfires produced. The Royal Air Force kept Spitfires in front line use until April 1954.
Artist Details : Robert Taylor
Click here for a full list of all artwork by Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor

The name Robert Taylor has been synonymous with aviation art over a quarter of a century. His paintings of aircraft, more than those of any other artist, have helped popularise a genre which at the start of this remarkable artist's career had little recognition in the world of fine art. When he burst upon the scene in the mid-1970s his vibrant, expansive approach to the subject was a revelation. His paintings immediately caught the imagination of enthusiasts and collectors alike . He became an instant success. As a boy, Robert seemed always to have a pencil in his hand. Aware of his natural gift from an early age, he never considered a career beyond art, and with unwavering focus, set out to achieve his goal. Leaving school at fifteen, he has never worked outside the world of art. After two years at the Bath School of Art he landed a job as an apprentice picture framer with an art gallery in Bath, the city where Robert has lived and worked all his life. Already competent with water-colours the young apprentice took every opportunity to study the works of other artists and, after trying his hand at oils, quickly determined he could paint to the same standard as much of the art it was his job to frame. Soon the gallery was selling his paintings, and the owner, recognising Roberts talent, promoted him to the busy picture-restoring department. Here, he repaired and restored all manner of paintings and drawings, the expertise he developed becoming the foundation of his career as a professional artist. Picture restoration is an exacting skill, requiring the ability to emulate the techniques of other painters so as to render the damaged area of the work undetectable. After a decade of diligent application, Robert became one of the most capable picture restorers outside London. Today he attributes his versatility to the years he spent painstakingly working on the paintings of others artists. After fifteen years at the gallery, by chance he was introduced to Pat Barnard, whose military publishing business happened also to be located in the city of Bath. When offered the chance to become a full-time painter, Robert leapt at the opportunity. Within a few months of becoming a professional artist, he saw his first works in print. Roberts early career was devoted to maritime paintings, and he achieved early success with his prints of naval subjects, one of his admirers being Lord Louis Mountbatten. He exhibited successfully at the Royal Society of Marine Artists in London and soon his popularity attracted the attention of the media. Following a major feature on his work in a leading national daily newspaper he was invited to appear in a BBC Television programme. This led to a string of commissions for the Fleet Air Arm Museum who, understandably, wanted aircraft in their maritime paintings. It was the start of Roberts career as an aviation artist. Fascinated since childhood by the big, powerful machines that man has invented, switching from one type of hardware to another has never troubled him. Being an artist of the old school, Robert tackled the subject of painting aircraft with the same gusto as with his large, action-packed maritime pictures - big compositions supported by powerful and dramatic skies, painted on large canvases. It was a formula new to the aviation art genre, at the time not used to such sweeping canvases, but one that came naturally to an artist whose approach appeared to have origins in an earlier classical period. Roberts aviation paintings are instantly recognisable. He somehow manages to convey all the technical detail of aviation in a traditional and painterly style, reminiscent of the Old Masters. With uncanny ability, he is able to recreate scenes from the past with a carefully rehearsed realism that few other artists ever manage to achieve. This is partly due to his prodigious research but also his attention to detail: Not for him shiny new factory-fresh aircraft looking like museum specimens. His trade mark, flying machines that are battle-scarred, worse for wear, with dings down the fuselage, chips and dents along the leading edges of wings, oil stains trailing from engine cowlings, paintwork faded with dust and grime; his planes are real! Roberts aviation works have drawn crowds in the international arena since the early 1980s. He has exhibited throughout the US and Canada, Australia, Japan and in Europe. His one-man exhibition at the Smithsonians National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC was hailed as the most popular art exhibition ever held there. His paintings hang in many of the worlds great aviation museums, adorn boardrooms, offices and homes, and his limited edition prints are avidly collected all around the world. A family man with strong Christian values, Robert devotes most of what little spare time he has to his home life. Married to Mary for thirty five years, they have five children, all now grown up. Neither fame nor fortune has turned his head. He is the same easy-going, gentle character he was when setting out on his painting career all those years ago, but now with a confidence that comes with the knowledge that he has mastered his profession.

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