Artworks and Artists
Longshoremen

Longshoremen,
1940
Brittain, Miller
oil on masonite
50.8 x 63.4 cm

Theme:

The political and social environment of life in Saint John during the thirties inspired Millar Brittain's works. Brittain wrote, "...a picture ought to emerge from the midst of life and be in no sense divorced from it'And I think artists should be rooted in their native heath'and they will be so if their life and work are one and the same".

In this work, Millar presents us with six workers from the docks of St John as he focuses on their different emotional states. The painting has become a strong metaphor for workers and the labour movement of the thirties, as Brittain turns these ordinary men into heros.