Key facts

  • Catalogue Number: 189
  • Title: Boadicea
  • Date: 1928
  • Artist: John Banting
  • Series: 1920s
Shell poster number 189, Modern Lubrication by John Gordge (1928). Painting shows a roman oiling the wheels of a chariot. Caption reads; "But for modern lubrication - Shell Oil".

John Banting (1902–1972) was one of England’s most important Surrealists. His left wing philosophy was mirrored in his work, which was anti-establishment and challenged what was considered acceptable form. Banting was introduced to the Paris art world by Cedric Morris. He also mixed with the Bloomsbury set, working on many book jackets for the Hogarth Press, and designing ballet sets. Banting exhibited at Surrealist exhibitions in 1930 and 1936 and contributed to Fantastic Art, DaDa and Surrealism in New York. In 1947 he contributed to the International Surrealist exhibition in Paris and signed the declaration of the English artists. The Surrealist movement in England began to wane after this and he exhibited little afterwards.

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