Supersonic' by Roy Nockolds, c.1948-1952. Oil on canvas, initialled bottom right. Semi-abstract view in blues and reds showing movement of an aircraft through a soundwave.
Nockolds combines imaginative abstraction with scientific diagram to depict the transcendence of supersonic flight. He shows an aircraft from below, scarlet against the sky, as it reaches speeds faster than sound. A curved line shows where the plane’s speed has compressed the air, causing shock waves to spread from its nose and a sonic ‘boom’ as it passes through to smoother air.
One of a series commissioned by the aviation industry [and British Petroleum?] on the theme of speed that were used as full page colour advertisements in the aeronautical press. It epitomises a moment of excited expectation at the technological possibilities of British aerospace. The air became the new frontier to conquer and explore. Another abstract depiction of supersonic flight by Nockolds exists in a private collection.
- Object Number:
frame: 880 mm x 1135 mm x 40 mm,
image: 760 mm x 1020 mm
- oil painting
- visual and verbal communication
- oil painting - visual work
- Rosanna Hackett
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.