JACK D. HUNTER – ORIGINAL PAINTING – FEATURING ENGLISH DH 2 SHOOTING DOWN FOKKER E III (EINDECKER)
My good friend, the late Jack Hunter, was both an accomplished writer (author of the legendary WW I aviation novel The Blue Max) and painter. The first example of his artwork appeared with the release of The Blue Max’s 1st edition. The publisher would not pay for a color dust jacket, so Jack volunteered to provide the artwork. This way his first published effort had the benefit of a more professional-looking dust jacket.
Jack continued to paint for more than forty years. He did so mostly for relaxation and to stimulate his mind in between those times when he was writing books. His painting is prized by collectors and has appeared in several museums. In Jack’s paintings, the airplanes were the “stars.” He worked very hard to capture all of an airplane’s correct details. Before starting on a new painting, he first produced what he termed “work sketches.” Many of these were in color. He endeavored to correctly portray ALL his subject aircraft’s historical details before he began the full painting. Even if he had previously produced paintings of Fokker Triplanes in the past, he still painted a new “work sketch” to ensure its story’s details were absolutely accurate. For Jack, his painting was an extension of his writing: he always was telling a story. He usually included a typed or handwritten description of each painting’s action. These generally were attached to its reverse, to help its new owner understand the painting and its particular airplanes.
Our action in this painting occurs during April 1916. The Fokker E. III had been Germany’s primary single-seater airplane during 1915 and through early 1916. Aces like Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke had made their reputations in it, becoming the first Imperial German Air Service pilots to be awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite. As was seen countless times during the air war, new technology was constantly appearing that made previous aircraft obsolete. The Fokker E. III was rendered obsolete by the likes of the British DH 2 (whose tail number is B7313). The latter was a very unusual airplane, as the engine and propeller were located behind the pilot.
In this painting, which is a vertical presentation, the Fokker E. III is beginning its final descent toward earth. The British pilot is looking down at his vanquished prey. A fine cloud cover appears above the planes, while a multicolored battlefield is below. Jack Hunter’s signature appears on the painting’s right lower corner. Jack primarily produced two different sized paintings. This is the smaller of the two. The painting measures 9 ½”x 14 ½.” The painting is single-matted. It sports a simple black frame, and its overall measurements are 14 3/4″ x 19 3/4.” This is a fine opportunity to obtain an original piece of artwork from a multi talented artist.