Pat Douthwaite

Death of Amy Johnson

About this artwork

This work is part of a cycle based on the life of the pioneering aviatrix, Amy Johnson. The artist stated: “This series…stemmed from a visual reaction to seeing myself in the mirror…my immediate reaction was ‘heavens that’s Amy Johnson’”. Full of movement and energy, this painting portrays Douthwaite’s desire to “free the figure from its claustrophobic ambience”. Depicting Johnson’s final flight, when her plane crashed into the Thames Estuary in 1941, Douthwaite has captured the feeling of a foggy January day. The funnel of H.M.S. Haslemere, from where Captain Fletcher dived in to try and rescue Johnson, but in turn lost his own life, reaches above the inky black water. It is an immensely sombre work that epitomises feelings of isolation and tragedy, sentiments close to Douthwaite’s heart.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Death of Amy Johnson
  • date created:
    Dated 1976
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    152.50 x 152.50 cm (framed: 154.50 x 154.80 x 3.10 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1977
  • accession number:
    GMA 1645
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

Pat Douthwaite

Pat Douthwaite