|Frank Dobson, The Giant, Cerne Abbas, 1931|
The point is, though, that Beddington thought this glorious chalk figure too good to leave out when he was commissioning the paintings of British landmarks that were supposed to encourage motorists to buy Shell products. Antiquaries and tourists had been visiting Cerne Abbas since the 18th century, if not earlier, although depictions of the figure were not necessarily true to life.
|Samuel Hieronymous Grimm, The Giant, Cerne Abbas, 1790|
|Paul Nash, The Cerne Abbas Giant, 1935|
Eric Ravilious, meanwhile, gave the figure a martial air in his painting, made during a whirlwind visit in December 1939. His version, incidentally, shows a different kind of censorship. The people who covered over the white chalk outline of the giant at the start of World War II were not concerned with modesty; their aim was to prevent the pilots and navigators of the Luftwaffe using the distinctive figure as a landmark.
|Eric Ravilious, The Cerne Abbas Giant, 1939|
|David Inshaw, Cerne Giant|