c. 1913 by C. R. W. Nevinson
It is interesting to look at Nevinson’s The Arrival in view of Art Deco style (see postcard thirty-six); the bold use of line, creating streamlined perspective, somewhat pre-empts it. Considering its year, 1913, and its obvious Vorticism, the similarities to the distinctive posters of imposing ships advertising ocean-liners in the twenties are distinct – wavy smoke lines pan diagonally across the image. The painting also affiliates itself happily with Cubism, being made up of interlocking, overlapping lines – sweeping curves tessellate with others, lines cross over each other making new unknown shapes, all differentiated in depth with coloured shading. Changing colour and dynamic highlights also create shape – it is not always left to the black outline – making the image a mass of glorious articulation, determined to pronounce every wave, breeze and object to be found in the composition. Nevinson’s painting is a fantastic mix of artistic influence, responding, and in some ways predicting, the immense range of styles teeming within British art at the beginning of the Twentieth-Century. Finally, however, all style is trumped by the Vorticist celebration of the machine. The wonderfully imposing ship, dominating in its arrival, pushes its nose through the busy composition, announcing itself noisily with shining red funnels – loud red which, like sound, is picked up and refracted through the rest of the painting.