“Cam” and “Mac”

Square of the Fallen, Ravenna, Italy 1945; TR MacDonald; watercolour on paper; 40.3×57.4 cm; CWM 19710261-4384

George Campbell Tinning (“Cam”) and Thomas Reid MacDonald (“Mac”) were two Official Canadian War Artists appointed to serve in Italy in the latter half of 1944. Although they were attached to different  brigades over the six months they did share billets in Ravenna for three weeks in January 1945 where they were ensconced in the Accademia di Belle Arti with its famous funerary statue of a “kissable” knight.

Bombed Fascist Building 1945; GC Tinning; watercolour on paper; 38.7×57.5 cm; CWM 19710261-5402

On January 18, 1945 “Cam” and “Mac” decided to paint the same scene of a bombed building in central Ravenna. Having two war artists paint the same scene on the same day invites a comparison of the depictions. Interestingly, overall proportions and colours appear similar but a few differences are noticeable: “Cam” has added more detail to the architecture while “Mac” gives greater prominence to the people in the scene.

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