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Duel in the Dark by Robert Taylor. - Cranston Fine Arts Aviation, Military and Naval Art
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Duel in the Dark by Robert Taylor.


Duel in the Dark by Robert Taylor.

The air war fought throughout World War II in the night skies above Europe raged six long years. RAF Hurricanes sent up to intercept the Luftwaffes nightly blitz on British cities had no more equipment than the fighters that fought the Battle of Britain during the day, but as the scale of nightly conflict developed, detection and navigation aids - primitive by todays standards - were at the cutting edge of World War II aviation technology. As the air war progressed the intensity of the RAFs nightly raids grew to epic proportions, and the Luftwaffe night-fighters became a critical last line of defence as their cities were pounded from above. By 1944 the Luftwaffe was operating sophisticated systems coordinating radar, searchlights and flak batteries, enabling effective guidance to increasingly wily aircrews flying equipment-laden aircraft. But the RAF had in turn developed their own detection equipment, and the nightly aerial contests between fighters and bombers were desperate affairs. Night-fighter pilots were men of special calibre, requiring a blend of all the best piloting and navigational qualities combined with patience, determination, and no small element of cunning. They were hunters in the purest sense, constantly honing their skills, and pitting their wits against a formidable foe. The young aircrews of the Luftwaffe fought a brave but losing battle in defence of their homeland, but their dedication never faltered, and their bravery is legend. Robert Taylor pays tribute to this courageous and skilled group of flyers with his new painting Duel in the Dark. It is August 1944. As Lancaster heavy bombers of 106 Squadron approach the target, Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, Kommandeur of IV./ NJG1 and the Luftwaffes top-scoring night- fighter pilot, makes a daring attack passing feet below the mighty four-engine aircraft. Flying his Me110 night-fighter among the flak and searchlights he has scored hits on the bombers outer starboard engine. While his gunner fiercely returns fire from the bombers front turret gunner, the night-fighter Ace will slip into the shadows before selecting another quarry. His nights work is not yet done.
Item Code : DHM2218Duel in the Dark by Robert Taylor. - This Edition
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINTSigned limited edition of 350 prints, Knights Cross Edition.

Image size 26 inches x 17 inches (66cm x 43cm) Falck, Wolfgang
Hoffmann, Werner
Zorner, Paul
Bahr, Gunther
Rumpelhardt, Fritz
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
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Other editions of this item : Duel in the Dark by Robert Taylor DHM2218
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ARTIST
PROOF
Limited edition of 25 artist proofs. Image size 26 inches x 17 inches (66cm x 43cm) Spoden, Peter
Falck, Wolfgang
Hoffmann, Werner
Zorner, Paul
Bahr, Gunther
Rumpelhardt, Fritz
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£60 Off!
+ Free
Shipping!

Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £395.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINTTrilogy Proof signed limited edition of 100 prints.

SOLD OUT
Image size 26 inches x 17 inches (66cm x 43cm) Spoden, Peter
Falck, Wolfgang
Hoffmann, Werner
Zorner, Paul
Bahr, Gunther
Rumpelhardt, Fritz
Drewes, Martin
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
SOLD
OUT
VIEW EDITION...
PRINTLimited edition of 25 remarques.

SOLD OUT
Image size 26 inches x 17 inches (66cm x 43cm) Spoden, Peter
Falck, Wolfgang
Hoffmann, Werner
Zorner, Paul
Bahr, Gunther
Rumpelhardt, Fritz
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
SOLD
OUT
VIEW EDITION...
PRINTNight-Fighter Edition of 250 prints.

Supplied with companion print Night Attacker.
Image size 26 inches x 17 inches (66cm x 43cm) Spoden, Peter
Falck, Wolfgang
Zorner, Paul
Bahr, Gunther
Rumpelhardt, Fritz
+ Artist : Robert Taylor
£60 Off!
Supplied with one or more free art prints!
Now : £275.00VIEW EDITION...
FLYER Robert Taylor Promotional Flyer.

SOLD OUT
A4 Size Double Sheet 11.5 inches x 8 inches (30m x 21cm)noneSOLD
OUT
VIEW EDITION...
General descriptions of types of editions :



Signatures on this item
NameInfo


The signature of Leutnant Fritz Rumpelhardt (deceased)

Leutnant Fritz Rumpelhardt (deceased)
From 1942 as an Unteroffizier, Fritz Rumpelhardt was radio operator to Heinz Wolfgang Schnaufer with NJG1 and NJG4. He participated in 100 night fighter victories with Schnaufer, and was the most successful night fighter radio-operator in the Luftwaffe. Fritz Rumpelhardt flew over 130 combat missions and was awarded the Knight's Cross in July 1944, and was nominated for the Oak Leaves in March 1945. Fritz Rumpelhardt passed away on 20th January 2011.


The signature of Major Paul Zorner (deceased)

Major Paul Zorner (deceased)
Originally a transport pilot, Paul Zorner flew in North Africa, the Mediterranean and southern Russia before retraining as a nightfighter pilot, joining II./NJG2 in 1942 flying the Ju88. In December he took command of 2./NJG3 operating first the Do217 and then the Me110. At the beginning of 1943 he was squadron commander of 3./NJG3 and then 8./NJG3, which he led until April 1944, when he took command of III./NJG5, re-equipping with the Ju88G-6. In October 1944 he was promoted to become Kommander of II./NJG100. Paul Zorner was credited with 59 victories and was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves.


The signature of Major Werner Hoffmann (deceased)

Major Werner Hoffmann (deceased)
Born in 1918, Werner Hoffman began flying gliders in 1932 before joining the Luftwaffe in 1936, being awarded his pilots bagde in June 1938. A month later, he was with 7./JG234 which, at the beginning of May 1939, became one of the first Destroyer units, I./ZG52. He was assigned to 4./ZG2 and took part in the Battle of France, scoring his first victory, a Spitfire, over Dunkirk. After being wounded, he served as a Staffelkapitan with Erganzungs Zerstorer Gruppe in Denmark, before retraining as a night fighter. Becoming Staffelkpitan of 5./NJG3, he took part in the Channel Dash operations. Hoffmann claimed two twin engine RAF bombers during the 1,000 bomber raid on the night of 25th - 26th June 1942, his first victories at night. In July 1943 he was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./NJG5. By the end of 1943, his victory total had increased to 18, but on 20th January 1944 his aircraft was damaged by a Lancaster bomber and he was forced to bale out. At the end of January 1944, he shot down three Halifaxes one night, followed by two Lancasters the following night. With further victories over four-engined bombers at night, his tally grew until the night of 16th - 17th March 1945, when his Ju88 was shot down by a Mosquito night fighter, thought to have been the 239 Sqn Mosquito of British Ace Dennis Hughes. He flew almost 200 missions, scoring 51 night and 1 day victories. Awarded the Knight's Cross in 1943, he was nominated for the Oak Leaves. Werner Hoffman passed away on 8th July 2011.


The signature of Oberfeldwebel Gunther Bahr (deceased)

Oberfeldwebel Gunther Bahr (deceased)
Born 18th July 1921. Serving first as an instructor, he was posted to 6./SG210 (later 6./ZG1) on the Eastern Front until June 1942, when he retrained to fly night fighters. Posted first to NJG4 in August 1943, and then I./NJG6 where on the night of 21st/22nd February 1943 he shot down seven four-engined Russian bombers in one night, after claiming four victories on each of the two previous nights. Gunther Bahr flew over 90 night fighter missions, and was awarded the Knight's Cross in March 1945. He had achieved 37 air victories, including shooting down Norman Jackson VC. Sadly, Gunther Bahr passed away on 29th April 2009.


The signature of Oberst Wolfgang Falck (deceased)

Oberst Wolfgang Falck (deceased)
At the outbreak of war Wolfgang Falck was Staffelkapitan of 8,/JG132 flying the Bf110 Zerstorer in the Polish Campaign. In Feb 1940 he became Kommandeur 1./ZG1 and led it during the Western campaign. From June 1940 Falck was appointed Kommodore NJG1, the largest Geschwader in the Luftwaffe. During this time the greatest Luftwaffe night Aces were under his command. In July 1943 he joined the staff of Luftflotte Recih where he was responsible for the day and night fighter defence of the Reich. In the autumn of 1944 he was made Fighter Leader in the Balkans, and later became head of staff for flying training. Wolfgang Falck flew 90 operations and was awarded the Knight's Cross. Died 13th March 2007.
The Aircraft :
NameInfo
LancasterThe Avro Lancaster arose from the avro Manchester and the first prototype Lancaster was a converted Manchester with four engines. The Lancaster was first flown in January 1941, and started operations in March 1942. By March 1945 The Royal Air Force had 56 squadrons of Lancasters with the first squadron equipped being No.44 Squadron. During World War Two the Avro Lancaster flew 156,000 sorties and dropped 618,378 tonnes of bombs between 1942 and 1945. Lancaster Bomberss took part in the devastating round-the-clock raids on Hamburg during Air Marshall Harris' "Operation Gomorrah" in July 1943. Just 35 Lancasters completed more than 100 successful operations each, and 3,249 were lost in action. The most successful survivor completed 139 operations, and the Lancaster was scrapped after the war in 1947. A few Lancasters were converted into tankers and the two tanker aircraft were joined by another converted Lancaster and were used in the Berlin Airlift, achieving 757 tanker sorties. A famous Lancaster bombing raid was the 1943 mission, codenamed Operation Chastise, to destroy the dams of the Ruhr Valley. The operation was carried out by 617 Squadron in modified Mk IIIs carrying special drum shaped bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis. Also famous was a series of Lancaster attacks using Tallboy bombs against the German battleship Tirpitz, which first disabled and later sank the ship. The Lancaster bomber was the basis of the new Avro Lincoln bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. (Becoming Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.) Their Lancastrian airliner was also based on the Lancaster but was not very successful. Other developments were the Avro York and the successful Shackleton which continued in airborne early warning service up to 1992.
Me110The Bf-110 grew out of Herman Gorings specifications for a multipurpose aircraft capable of penetrating deep into enemy airspace to clear the sky of enemy fighters in advance of German bomber formations. The aircraft would also be utilized as a long range interceptor, and as a ground support and ground attack bomber. The Bf-110 prototype first flew in 1936. The prototype was under powered with its Daimier Benz DB 600A engines. Several months passed before a go ahead was given for large scale production which commenced in 1938. Utilizing improved DB 601 engines, the early production 110s were as fast as any single engine fighter at that time, and had superior fire power. Their biggest apparent weakness was in the areas of armor protection for the crew, and in terms of maneuverability when compared to single seat fighters. The 110 was produced in large numbers and in many different variants. The 110D was the long range model. An additional belly tank was fitted to that aircraft, with several later variants having the more traditional drop tanks. The first serious test for the Bf-110 came during the Battle of Britain. About 300 Bf-110s were involved. They became easy prey for Hurricane and Spitfire pilots, and Bf-109s were often required to assist the 110s in their own defense. On August 15, 1940, which became known as Black Tuesday, the Bf-110s were ravaged by the RAF, and for the month over 100 aircraft were lost. On the Eastern Front the Bf-110 performed admirably in the early stages of Operation Barbarossa. With the Soviet Air Force weakened in the first several weeks of the attack, 110s were effectively utilized in a ground attack role. Ultimately, the Luftwaffe re-equipped a significant number of its 110s as night fighters. The aircraft performed well in this role because it was a good gun platform with sufficient speed to overtake the RAF night bombers. Such night missions were typically carried out with no Allied fighter escort, so the 110 night fighters would not have to engage or elude Allied fighters in this role.
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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