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de Grineau, Bryan (1883–1957)

Bryan de Grineau original cartoon artwork

Bryan de Grineau was born Charles William Grineau and was the son of a well known illustrator and caricaturist Charles Grineau, who used the pseudonym Alfred Bryan. At the age of t25 de Grineau who had studied art under his father gained his commission through an automotive magazine, The Motor at the French Grand Prix at Dieppe. The early pen and ink drawings of de Grineau were very similar to that of his father and resembled the printing processes of the time. Most magazine illustrators had graduated from line engraving and wood block technique. During the First World War, de Grineau served as Captain and Adjutant in the 41st Brigade Royal Field Artillery and sent home vivid sketches from the front for the Illustrated London News and the Illustrated War News. After the War de Grineau produced work for postcards, posters, race programmes, car manufacturers’ advertising and sales brochures. He would later reprise this role during the Second World War where he was the special correspondent for Illustrated London News and later became an official War Artist for the government. A 1940 issue of Life magazine featured some of Grineau's work entitled "Captain de Grineau follows the British troops in France and sends back sketches of their life in the trenches". Upon his death an artist colleague wrote to The Timesa couple of days later in order to expand on his obituary. It was observed that "The exigencies of the press, however demanded speed in his finished drawings too. From my memories of working with him I can testify to the extraordinary feats of concentration he performed in turning a few hurried notes into a complete and detailed picture to fill two whole pages in a matter of hours. The picture literally sprang to life as his charcoal moved with swift, nervous strokes over the paper. Such speed and accuracy sprang from a foundation of fine draughtsmanship and brilliant technique".