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John DePol

Ireland and the War

John DePol was deeply affected by his stay in Ireland during World War II. In 1943, as a member of the U.S. Army Air Force, he was stationed at Toomebridge Aerodrome in Northern Ireland. During his off-duty hours, he sketched the beautiful Irish countryside, the activities of the local residents and his fellow soldiers.

When DePol had the opportunity, he went to Belfast and joined the lithography class in the art department of the School of Technology. Using an old lithographic press, he learned the process of preparing and printing lithographic plates. He began using zinc plates (rather than stone) because he could draw on the plates at the base, then return to Belfast to print a small edition.

DePol returned to Northern Ireland in 1947, revisiting and sketching Belfast and the countryside. Long after his return from the war, DePol would continue to look back at his memories of Ireland for inspiration for his work. Many of his later works, including both prints and book illustrations for Two Lovely Beasts, Inishbream, and Ballylee: The Tower, show his enduring love for the Irish countryside.

Billet Chimney Repair Nissen hut
"Billet at an Aerodrome - Somewhere in Northern Ireland - 1944." Ink on paper. 1944.
"Chimney Repair, Belfast." Wood engraving. 1955.

"A Nissen Hut in Northern Ireland - 1944. Ink and wash on paper. 1944

Two Lovely Beasts Ballylee Inishbream
Liam O'Flaherty.
Two Lovely Beasts and Other Stories. New York: Devin-Adair Co., 1950.
W. B. Yeats, 1865-1939.
Ballylee: The Tower: Selections from the Tower Poems of W.B. Yeats. Lewisburg, Pa.: The Press of Appletree Alley, 1983.
Theresa Kishkan.
Inishbream. Mission, B.C.: Barbarian Press, 1999.

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Last modified: 12/21/10

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