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Building Aircraft: Swooping down on a Taube (from the series ‘The Great War: Britain’s Efforts and Ideals’)
© the Artist's Estate / Bridgeman Art Library. All rights reserved.

Reference URL

Building Aircraft: Swooping down on a Taube (from the series ‘The Great War: Britain’s Efforts and Ideals’) Dated 1917 (published 1918)

Not on display

This print is from a portfolio series commissioned by the Bureau of Information, called ‘The Great War: Britain’s Efforts and Ideals’. Twelve artists made prints relating to the ‘Ideals’ involved in going to war, and Nevinson was one of the nine artists commissioned to depict the ‘Efforts’ associated with war. This is the sixth of Nevinson’s six prints, which show the process of building an aeroplane, from making parts, to assembly, and finally to flight. Nevinson took a particular interest in aerial warfare, devoting three prints to showing aircraft in flight. In this image, a British plane takes a breathtaking dive towards a German Taube aircraft, set against a dramatically-lit sky. The German plane is recognisable by its curved, bird-like profile – ‘taube’ is German for ‘dove.’

Glossary Open


When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.


A group of art works, by one or more artists, issued or housed together in a portfolio case. This often applies to photographs or prints, and portfolios often include a title page or introductory text. The term is also used to describe a group of works which exemplify an artist's work overall.


An image pressed or stamped onto paper or fabric. This encompasses a wide variety of techniques, usually produced in multiples, although one-off prints, known as monoprints, are also included. The term is also applied to photographic images.

Commission, Portfolio, Print


  • Acc. No. GMA 456 F
  • Medium Lithograph on paper
  • Size 40.00 x 30.00 cm (paper 47.70 x 38.80 cm)
  • Credit Presented by the Ministry of Information 1919