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Stephen Bone (1904-1958)

Stephen Bone, (13 November 1904 - 15 September 1958), was an English artist, writer, broadcaster and noted war artist. Bone achieved early success in book illustration using woodcuts before he turned to painting and art criticism.


Born in Chiswick, London and was the son of Sir Muirhead Bone and of Gertrude Helana Dodd, a writer. After leaving Bedales School he travelled widely in Europe with his father before enrolling at the Slade School of Fine Art in 1922. He became disillusioned with the Slade and left in 1924 to begin illustrating books, with woodcuts, for his mother and other writers. In 1925 Bone was awarded the Gold Medal for Wood Engraving at the International Exhibition in Paris. In 1926 he was the subject of a joint exhibition at the Goupil Gallery, alongside Rodney Joseph Burn, and in 1928 he painted a mural for the underground station at Piccadilly Circus.

In 1929 he married the artist Mary Adshead and they were to have two sons and a daughter. The couple travelled extensively across Britain and Europe which allowed Bone to paint outdoors in all weathers and develop a style of bright landscape painting that proved popular and sold well at a number of gallery exhibitions.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Stephen Bone enlisted as an officier in the Civil Defence Camouflage Establishment based in Leamington Spa. In June 1943 Bone was appointed by the War Artists' Advisory Committee to be a full-time salaried artist to the Ministry of Information specialising in Admiralty subjects. The post had originally being held by Stephens father, Muirhead Bone, but following the death of Gavin Bone, Stephens brother, Muirhead decided not to continue with the commission. Stephen produced a large quantity of works showing naval craft and coastal installations around Great Britain. He recorded the 1944 Normandy landings, painted scenes in Caen and Courseulles after the invasion and went on to record the assault on Walcheren Island in the Netherlands. Towards the end of 1944 he travelled to Norway and painted the wreck of the Tirpitz.

After the War, Bone found his style of painting somewhat out of fashion and, although he continued to paint, he found it difficult to get his work exhibited. He became an art critic for the Manchester Guardian, wrote humorous pieces for the Glasgow Herald and did television and radio work for the BBC. With his wife, he wrote and illustrated children's books. He died of cancer on 15 September 1958 at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London.

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Artist Stephen Bone: Beach scene is at Tenby with Mary Adshead and her son Quentin
Stephen Bone
Beach scene is at Tenby with Mary...  For sale
£1500
Artist Stephen Bone: Village with tower and church, West Country
Stephen Bone
Village with tower and church  For sale
£1800
Artist Stephen Bone: London rooftops
Stephen Bone
London rooftops  For sale
£1200
Artist Stephen Bone: Dover Harbour - Dawn During Evacuation of Dunkirk, 1940
Stephen Bone
Dover Harbour - Dawn During...  For sale
£500
Artist Stephen Bone: Portsmouth harbour, WW2, with HMS Victory and barrage balloons
Stephen Bone
Portsmouth harbour  For sale
£600
Artist Stephen Bone: Submarine N15
Stephen Bone
Submarine N15  For sale
£395
Artist Stephen Bone: Swedish conversation piece, August 1929
Stephen Bone
Swedish conversation piece  For sale
£490
Artist Stephen Bone: Warehouses, possibly pool of London
Stephen Bone
Warehouses, possibly pool of London  For sale
£380
Artist Stephen Bone: Full lenght standing female nude, 3/4 frontal view
Stephen Bone
Full lenght standing female nude  For sale
£275
Artist Stephen Bone: Street scene with Union Jacks
Stephen Bone
Street scene with Union Jack's  For sale
£285
Artist Stephen Bone: 3/4 length rear view standing female nude
Stephen Bone
3/4 length rear view standing female...  For sale
£195
Artist Stephen Bone: Design for poster; Pictures of Spain and Scotland, 1920s
Stephen Bone
Design for poster; Pictures of Spain...  For sale
£475
Artist Stephen Bone: Milford on Sea and Hordle - Toads Hole
Stephen Bone
Milford on Sea and Hordle - Toad's...  Reserved 
Artist Stephen Bone: Map of South Afrrica
Stephen Bone
Map of South Afrrica  Reserved 
Artist Stephen Bone: Lachlan, October 1926
Stephen Bone
Lachlan, October 1926  For sale 
Artist Stephen Bone: The artists studio, circa 1938
Stephen Bone
The artist's studio, circa 1938  For sale 
Artist Stephen Bone: St. Davids
Stephen Bone
St. Davids  Privately held 
Artist Stephen Bone: Gothenburg - Hull; An Ellerman Wilson line fleet Steamer.
Stephen Bone
Gothenburg - Hull; An Ellerman...  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Mary Adshead and Gavin (?) Bone on the dunes
Stephen Bone
Mary Adshead and Gavin (?) Bone on...  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Grimaud, Côte dAzur
Stephen Bone
Grimaud, Côte d'Azur  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Loch Morar, Storm Clearing
Stephen Bone
Loch Morar, Storm Clearing  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Cloud study
Stephen Bone
Cloud study  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Petersfield Cattle Market
Stephen Bone
Petersfield Cattle Market  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Landscape with ploughed field
Stephen Bone
Landscape with ploughed field  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Life study, standing female nude,three quarter rear view, (recto, verso)
Stephen Bone
Life study  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Self portrait
Stephen Bone
Self portrait  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: The High Street, circa 1923
Stephen Bone
The High Street, circa 1923  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: The night watch, (Normandy landings), 1944
Stephen Bone
The night watch  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: St Paul’s and St Bride’s Floodlit, Sept. 1931
Stephen Bone
St Paul’s and St Bride’s Floodlit  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: The Swing Bridge, TheTyne Bridge, and High Level Bridge, Newcastle Upon Tyne, late 1920s
Stephen Bone
The Swing Bridge  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Landscape with farm, possibly Connemara, circa 1930
Stephen Bone
Landscape with farm  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Study for ‘Arrival of Second Escort Group of Sloops at Liverpool’, 1944
Stephen Bone
Study for ‘Arrival of Second...  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Poppies on a window sill, circa 1930
Stephen Bone
Poppies on a window sill, circa 1930  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Mary Adshead, the artists wife, in a yellow bathing suit, circa 1930
Stephen Bone
Mary Adshead  Sold 
Artist Stephen Bone: Hyde Park
Stephen Bone
Hyde Park  Sold