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From the Heavens into Hell

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'From the Heavens into Hell' - WW1 BE2c aircraft painting by Graham Turner From the Heavens into Hell - original oil painting Ref: GT-GW3

The observer of an unarmed BE2c struggles to drag the unconscious pilot from his cockpit, while the Fokker Eindekker that forced them down into the mud of no-mans land flies overhead.

Oil on Canvas, canvas size 38" x 24" (97cm x 61cm). Painting is framed - overall size including frame is approximately 43"x 29" (110cm x 74cm)

click on image to enlarge

Carriage is not included - please contact us to discuss options (see below)
Price: 7,500.00

"This canvas is not necessarily what you'd expect from a First World War aviation painting, but I hope it reflects the grim reality of this awful conflict more faithfully than the more usual 'Boys Own' images of ace scout pilots dogfighting high above the trenches amongst dramatically lit clouds.

Reading the recollections and memoirs of those whose lives were so affected by this devastating conflict, and looking through photos that don't shy away from the horrors they faced, is something I have found deeply moving. Their thoughts and reflections on what they experienced, on seeing comrades - and enemies - perish, how they conquered their nerves and took to the air time and again whilst facing such terrible odds - this human story is what inspires my paintings.
'From the Heavens into Hell' - WW1 Royal Flying Corps BE2c crash - painting by Graham Turner
In 'From the Heavens into Hell' I've tried to convey the reality of war in a way I've never attempted before. There are several themes I wanted to include: the totally unarmed and fragile BE2c helpless under the synchronised machine gun of the revolutionary Fokker Eindecker, illustrating the incredibly fast development of weapons in time of war; the contrast between the Fokker flying freely in the bright sky and his victim forced down out of its natural element into the mud and wire of no-mans land; and the very different worlds of the soldier and airman suggested by the remains of a soldier - a 'poor bloody infantyman', as they were known by the RFC - one of the countless thousands whose bodies were scattered over the torn up landscape of the Western front. The soldier's remains could also be perceived as a reflection on mortality, the fine line between life and death in war and how close these airmen have come to crossing it.

I could have gone further and shown the BE2 as a heap of burning wreckage, but I wanted there to be a little optimism in the painting, a ray of light, so here the pilot has managed to crash land the plane and the observer at least has survived this confrontation.

I appreciate that painting a crashed aeroplane with a decomposing body in the foreground might be seen as rather morbid, but I hope that it will give viewers pause for thought, something to reflect on amongst the more conventional images of First World War flying."
- Graham Turner
Below is a close up cropped detail image from Graham Turner's oil painting 'From the Heavens into Hell'.
'From the Heavens into Hell' - WW1 Royal Flying Corps BE2c crash - painting by Graham Turner
Purchasing an Original Painting

Graham Turner's original paintings are offered for sale by the artist himself, rather than through Studio 88, which is our print publishing business. Consequently, payment directly to him is preferred. If you are interested in purchasing an original painting, please email Graham Turner at to discuss the purchase or to arrange to visit.

The cost of shipping original paintings varies, depending on their size, value and destination. Our usual shipping rates do not apply, but we would be happy to provide a quote for shipping to your address if you are unable to collect.

Copyright is retained by the artist.

(Right) Graham Turner creating his oil painting 'Contact'.
Purchasing an Original Painting
Award Winning First World War Aviation Art

Graham Turner's original oil painting Into the Hands of Fate (right) achieved award success at the 2013 Guild of Aviation Artists annual exhibition, held in the prestigious Mall Galleries, London, where it was awarded the Cross and Cockade prize for the best First World War aviation painting, the Roy Nockolds Trophy (voted for by the public), and was runner up for the two top awards - the Aviation Painting of the Year and Flypast Fellows Award for Excellence. It also sold straight away (for £7,500).

He also won the Roy Nockolds Trophy in 2011, the first time he exhibited with the Guild, for his painting 'Steady Boy', and was Highly Commended for 'Thank You Harry Tate' in 2012, both 'Victor & Vanquished' and 'Contact' in 2015, 'Replacements' in 2016, and 'Letter from Home' in 2017. Letter from Home also won the Wilkinsons Sword Poignard for the Best Oil Painting.

2018 saw Graham win the Cross and Cockade award once again, for his oil painting 'Dawn of the Machines'.
RFC FE2b original WW1aviation painting by Graham Turner
First World War Aviation prints

A selection of Graham Turner's First World War paintings are available from Studio 88 as high quality giclée prints - on paper or canvas. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Studio 88 Ltd., PO Box 568, Aylesbury, Bucks. HP17 8ZX - email: - phone: 01296 338504

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