Eric Ravilious, Graham Sutherland, Mervyn Peake and Edward Ardizzone belonged to a generation of British artists who embraced both fine art and design. They all worked in a number of different techniques - etching, wood engraving, watercolour - and are known for their work as illustrators.
During the Second World War all four were commissioned by the War Artists Advisory Committee to record the war, both abroad and in Britain.
Watercolour was a good medium for artists who had to travel widely, being much less cumbersome than canvas and oils. It was used not only for preparatory studies but also in many cases for the finished works.
This exhibition gives an insight in the rich and varied collection of works on paper held by the Imperial War Museum. By employing young and innovative artists the War Artists Advisory Committee left a legacy of works of art not merely recording the war, but also a testimony to the talent of this important generation of artists.