1948-1952 in United Kingdom
Roy Nockolds

Painting. [Supersonic] by Roy Nockolds, c.1948-1952. Oil on canvas, 76x102cm in silver-gilt frame 88x113.5x4cm.
© The artist’s estate | Managed by Artists’ Collecting Society
© The artist’s estate | Managed by Artists’ Collecting Society

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:
oil paint on canvas and silver gilt
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

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