Gas Mask Drill, 1939
Passe-partout (ref: 5327)
Black crayon, squared, 12 3/4 x 9 in. (32.4 x 23 cm.)
Literature: Paul Liss, Charles Mahoney, London 1999, p. 54.
Gas masks were issued to all children as a precaution against attack by gas bombs, and gas-mask drill (‘remove mask from box, put mask on face, check mask fits correctly, breathe normally’) was a daily feature of school life in the Second World War .The masks came in cardboard boxes with a strap for carrying them on the shoulder . Children were instructed to keep their masks with them at all times.
In 1940, the Royal College of Art was evacuated to Ambleside in the Lake District, with Mahoney and Percy Horton among the male staff. Mahoney made a series of studies for this compostion, many of which were squared for transfer. It is not know if this composition was ever realised as a larger finished painting.