Collection Online
watercolour over pencil on 2 sheets
102.1 × 134.6 cm (image and sheet)
Catalogue/s Raisonné
Causey 162
no inscriptions visible when framed
Accession Number
International Prints and Drawings
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1949
Gallery location
Not on display


The frame on the watercolour, Soldiers in a lorry, 1942-43, by Burra is the original, made by Alfred Stiles and Sons, London.
The painting was purchased by the Felton Bequest in 1948 and has retained the frame in which it was acquired.

In 1940, Stiles and Sons a picture frame maker and gilding company based in Hammersmith, London secured the contract to frame war artists works. The standard Stiles and Sons frame comprised of a simple moulding with an off-white gesso surface, finished with the mottled or dragged flecks of a secondary paint colour. Although not an official war artist himself, it is likely that Burra used the default war artist frame style, developed by Stiles, on his own war-themed works.

The frame is simple in form taking the essential shape of the Italian Casetta frame. The pale/off white surface finish makes passing reference to the frames associated, through documentation, with the early French Impressionist exhibitions. The group of painters known as British Modernists, made good use of simple framing forms, often painted, usually un-ornamented. The frames reflect a simplified aesthetic sense but are also influenced by the cost of gilded ornamental frames and the relatively inexpensive nature of simple, painted frames.

Alfred Stiles
37-39 Brook Green Rd, Hammersmith London

Painted timber profile.


good original condition

More Information
National Portrait Gallery