Saturday, May 24, 2014

Painting of the Day: A Basket of Fruit for the Empire Marketing Board, 1931

Click image to enlarge
Still-Life of Exotic Fruit
Mark Gertler
The Empire Marketing Board, 1931
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Painted in 1931 by Mark Gertler (1891-1939), this still-life of a basket holding pineapple, apples, bananas and pears on a cloth-draped table, was commissioned by the Empire Marketing Board.

The Marketing Board had been established in 1926 in order to promote trade with the Colonies and Dominions of the British Empire.  This original painting was one of several lush designs which, through using brilliant, enticing imagery, were commissioned to encourage British people to support these growing industries.  

Posters printed with these paintings, many of which were the work of Gertler in a similarly appealing style, were emblazoned with effective slogans such as "Buy Empire Every Day" and "Follow the Flag in all your Purchases."

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