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|Extra Details : Rising Sun by Robert Taylor.|
|Signatures on this item|
Saburo Sakai (deceased)
|This legendary Zero pilot graduated into the Japanese air force in 1937 and he scored his first victory in the China War. On December 8, 1941, Sakai participated in the raid on Clark Field and, on December 10, led the attack on Kellys B-17. He fought in New Guinea against the 8th Fighter Group, B-26s of the 22nd Bomb Group, and 75 Sqn RAAF. Badly wounded in August 1942 over Guadalcanal he was hospitalized and lost the sight of his right eye. He was pressed back into service and claimed 5 Hellcats in the final days. In over 200 combats, Sakai never lost a wingman and destroyed 64 enemy aircraft. Saburo Sakai is the Highest-scoring Japanese ace to survive the War. Sakal flew with the Imperial Navy as a noncommissioned officer in China where he attained two victories. While stationed at Tainan on Formosa, Sakais unit was involved in the attacks on American airfields in the Philippines shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japanese pilots had developed fuel-saving, low-speed, tactics with their Mitsubishi Zero fighters, which allowed them to make the 1200-mile round-trip flight to the Philippines, while accompanying Japanese bombers. The appearance of Japanese aircraft from bases which were thought to be out of range came as an unpleasant surprise to American forces. During this mission S akal bagged a p-40 over Clark field. During the days that would follow, Sakai's squadron would repeatedly make the long flight to the Philippines to support the advancing Japanese invasion force that was disembarking. On December 10, 1941 while patrolling at 18,000 feet, Sakal saw several bombs explode near Japanese convoy ships. Noticing a lone B-17 Flying Fortress, Sakal and nine other Zeros made for the American Bomber at full throttle. Overtaking the bomber, believed to be the one piloted by Colin Kelly, Sakal and the other Japanese fighters poured fire into the aircraft from behind. Finally, the overmatched bomber began to go down. Eight of its crew bailed out before the aircraft crashed short of Clark Field. Sakal would later have another encounter with b- 1 7s over Borneo. However, these would be later model aircraft fitted with a rear gunner's turret, and would prove to be much more difficult to bring down. In early 1942 Sakai's unit was shifted to supporting the Japanese invasion of Java. Encountering outclassed Brewster Buffaloes, P-36s, P-40s, and some Hurricanes, the Japanese fighter forces wreaked havoc in the skies. Sakai's victory tally rose to thirteen. A few months later Sakal was involved in fighting around Rabaul. This was the first time the Japanese would meet stiff resistance. In many months of fighting the Japanese forces sustained meaningful casualties. On July 22, 1942 Sakal chased a Lockheed Hudson, whose pilot put on a daring series of aerial maneuvers, before finally being downed by the Japanese ace, for his 4C Victory. In late July the morale of the Japanese fighter forces suffered a serious setback with the realization that American carrierbased aircraft were now involved in the battles in New Guinea. The Japanese forces had in fact not obtained the decisive victory that they had been told was achieved at the Battle of Midway. With the American attack on Guadalcanal, Sakai's unit was refocused on flying 11 00-mile escort missions for Japanese Bombers attacking American forces at Guadalcanal. On one of these missions Sakai mistakenly attacked a formations of Avengers. Hit by fire from the rear gunners of the torpedo bombers, Sakal was badly injured, losing sight in one eye. He successfully nursed his aircraft back to Rabaul. After recovering from his injuries, Sakai would be involved as a flight instructor and test pilot until the Japanese surrender. Saburo Sakai passed away 22nd September 2000.|
|Artist Details : Robert Taylor|
|Click here for a full list of all artwork by 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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