Major General John Christopher Temple Willis RI (1900-1969)
`Early Morning Mist - Salthouse,Norfolk` 1928
A tranquil and atmospheric watercolour by well known painter J.C.T. Willis depicting a view of Salthouse, with the church shrouded in sea mist, a still morning as can be seen from the wisp of smoke rising from the cottage chimney. The soft colours in the depiction of the misty church and distant cottages are acutely observed. Willis was a fascinating artist, managing to combine a highly successful army career with a notable one as a watercolour painter. During his life works were reproduced on postcards, maps and book covers, and his work is very collectable. The painting is housed in a cream traditional frame with antique white ingres mount which really suits the spaciousness of the image.
Major General John Christopher Temple Willis RI(1900-1969)
J.C.T. Willis was the son of George Hughlings Armstrong Willis, R. N. and Adela Emma Temple Frere. He was born in Weymouth, Dorset in 1900, shortly after their return from British Columbia, where they had been stationed as a consequence of his father's career as a Paymaster Captain in the Royal Navy.
JCT Willis was educated at Uppingham, then entered Sandhurst on leaving school, and from there commissioned into the Royal Engineers as a 2nd.Lieutenant in 1919. From about 1923 he seems to have been specialising in surveying and mapping, first in Malaya, and then from 1931 with the Ordnance Survey. He appears to have been an instructor in surveying in the late 1930`s, and during the war worked in Military intelligence in the map making and operational planning areas. After the war he became deputy head of the Ordnance Survey, and from 1953-1957 became the Director General of the Ordnance Survey. By this time his rank had risen to Major-General, retiring in 1957.
He seems to have found time to paint watercolours while in the Army. In the 1930s it was mentioned to the Royal Ordnance that his paintings could be used as covers for some of their maps. Five were published and repeated at later dates too. He studied painting under P. Talbot Kelly and G. Ackerman and exhibited at the RA, RBA, RI and RSA. Lived in Farnham, Surrey.
|Image size||17 x 13 inches||Provenance||signed lower right and dated, titled|
|Overall size||12 x 10 inches|
|Age||1928||Price||SOLD MAY 2016|