The Sinister Insect: The Dragon Fly, circa 1940
Framed (ref: 4407)
Signed, inscribed with title to reverse
Watercolour, 11 x 15 1/2 in. (27.7 x 39.5 cm.)
Provenance: Gvien by Sauter to the grandmother of the previous owner; private collection South Aftica, 2010
Exhibited: WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Morley College London, 28 October -23 November 2016, cat 50.
Literature: WW2 - War Pictures by British Artists, Edited by Sacha Llewellyn & Paul Liss, July 2016, cat 50, page 89.
During World War II, Rudolf Sauter was an Army Welfare Officer under South Eastern Command. Although he was never an official war artist the events he witnessed informed his work.
This shows a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt a tremendously powerful aeroplane capable of lifting a heavy weapons pay-load, the Thuderbolts was used by the RAF as a ground-attack aircraft in the Far East. It had been designed for the United States Army Air Force as a high altitude fighter and was used in that role, but the RAF preferred Spitfires and Mustangs for that work. Sixteen RAF squadrons operated the type in South-East Asia equipping the aircraft with three 500lb bombs or with eight 60lb Rocket Projectiles below the outer wings. Though showing no American markings, this example appears to be the USAAF fighter version that was used to escort the bombers of the 8th US Air Force on their daylight missions over Germany. The Type's eight '50 caliber' 0.5 inch machine guns mounted in the wings, gave it significant punch in combatting German fighters.
We are grateful to Andrew Cormack for assistance.