Laurence Henry Irving - Gypsy Camp in a Chalk Pit

Laurence Henry Irving - Gypsy Camp in a Chalk Pit




Gypsy Camp in a Chalk Pit

Signed with monogram

Oil on canvas


16 by 21 ½ in.; 40.5 by 54.5 cm.

(frame size 60 by 65 cm., 23 ½ by 25 ½ in)


London, Royal Academy, 1928, no.557.

Laurence Henry Forster Irving was the sone of the actors H B Irving and Dorothea Baird and grandson of the great Victorian actor Henry Irving.  

He studied at Wellington College and during World War I served as a pilot in the Royal Naval Air Service, winning the Croix de Guerre.  

Following the war he studied at the Byam Shaw School and Royal Academy Schools.  As a landscape painter he exhibited at the Royal Academy, Fine Art Society, Agnews and elsewhere.  In addition to his painting and work as an illustrator.  In 1928 he went to Hollywood with Douglas Fairbanks to be his Art Director on The Iron Mask (1929).  During his time in Hollywood he worked on several other films before returning to Britain in the 1930s. On his return to London he work on a large number of British films and stage productions.

In 1939 Irving was recalled to the RAF to serve in the Intelligence Department.  He as in France until the surrender in when he returned to London and helped he friend Peter Fleming in the recruiting and training an underground force of saboteurs in Kent and Sussex who’s role was to slow the advance of the enemy should a German invasion take place.  He ended the war as a Squadron Leader.

In 1920 he married Rosalind Frances Woolner, the granddaughter of the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner.