Alan Sorrell's archaeological reconstruction drawings and paintings remain some of the best, most accurate and most accomplished paintings of their genre that continue to inform our understanding and appreciation of historic buildings and monuments in Europe, the Near East and throughout the UK. His famously stormy and smoky townscapes, especially those of Roman Britain, were based on meticulous attention to detail borne of detailed research in collaboration with archaeologists such as Sir Mortimer Wheeler, Sir Cyril Fox and Sir Barry Cunliffe, who excavated and recorded his subjects of interest. Many of his reconstructions were commissioned to accompany visitor information and guidebooks at historic sites and monuments where they continue to be displayed. But archaeological subjects were not his only interest. His output was prodigious: he painted murals, portraits, imaginative and romantic scenes and was an accomplished war artist, serving in the RAF in World War II. In this affectionate but objective account, Sorrell's children, both also artists, present a brief pictorial biography followed by more detailed descriptions of the genesis, research and production of illustrations that demonstrate the artist's integrity and vision, based largely on family archives and illustrated throughout with Sorrell's own works. So influential were Sorrell's images of Roman towns such as London, Colchester, Wroxeter, St Albans and Bath, buildings such as the Heathrow temple and the forts of Hadrian's Wall, that he became known as the man who invented Roman Britain.
Julia Sorrell RI, RBA is an artist living and working in Norfolk with her husband Ian Sanders. She was awarded in 2015 an ACE Foundation TravelArt Award to produce exhibitions of paintings and sculpture based on the landscape and archaeology of Orkney. Apart from being an artist, Julia has written articles and given talks about Alan & Elizabeth Sorrell and herself, but this is her first book. Mark Sorrell, born in 1952, lives in Norwich and is a writer of poetry and non-fiction. Apart from Reconstructing the Past (1981), he has published a history of The Peculiar People, articles in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, British Art Journal, Theatre Notebook, Essex Review and other journals and magazines. He's currently working on a book about a 19th century American travelling showman.
Foreword Illustrations [Dedication] Part 1 I Introduction II Early Life and Education III The British School at Rome 1928-30 IV England 1930-39 V World War II VI Post-War [Dedication] Part II VII Remembering Him VIII Beginnings and the National Museum of Wales IX Jarlshof: A Work in Progress X Twenty-Five Years A Finding List Bibliography Acknowledgements/Picture Credits Index