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Youthful Ambition

BRANGWYN, Sir Frank William (1867 - 1956)

Youthful Ambition - Frank Brangwyn
Youthful Ambition - Frank Brangwyn

Date: 1917

Media: lithograph on paper

Acquired: 1919; Presented by Ministry of Information

Accession Number: NMW A 5638

Collection: The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals

A young lad standing on a dock-side gazes longingly into the distance at a dim outline of a warship in the mist.  Perhaps he is thinking of his own future and following the call of the sea?

Brangwyn’s subject reflects his interest in the sea. In many of his prints he has exploited the particular quality of lithography that enables artists to create prints similar to sketches and drawings.  Brangwyn was deeply affected by the destruction and loss of life in the war, particularly in Belgium, where he had been born.  He was never appointed an official war artist, but produced many further lithographs to support various charities. 

Brangwyn was born in Bruges to an Anglo-Welsh father and Welsh mother from Brecon. The family moved back to Britain and by the age of fifteen Brangwyn was studying under designer and socialist William Morris. As he became successful as a painter, etcher and lithographer, Brangwyn began to travel widely across the world. He had an international reputation at the time of undertaking this commission and was a member of the Senefelder Club, which promoted the medium of lithography.

This work forms part of the portfolio The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals, a series of 66 lithographic prints commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1917. The series provide a broad and fascinating representation of Britain’s war objectives, military activities and effort on the Home Front.

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