Jack Leonard Shadbolt
Canadian (born in England), 1909–1998
Image with Red Bones, 1947
oil, charcoal on paper
76 x 46 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of George Swinton and his daughters
Jack Shadbolt’s output encompassed a wide range of themes. His work often explored the artist’s connection to the natural environment, particularly around Victoria, British Columbia, where his family immigrated when he was an infant. Before World War II, Shadbolt’s work owed much to the Group of Seven and Emily Carr. Carr’s work, in particular, spawned an interest in First Nations iconography in Shadbolt’s work. During the early 1940s, Shadbolt was an official war artist overseas; he depicted many scenes of London’s bombed-out core. However, it was his witness to Holocaust atrocities through photographic documentation that had the greatest impact on his art in the immediate post-war period. In works like Image with Red Bones, violent colour and nightmarish symbolism collide to produce an anguished protest against, and morbid comment on, human brutality.