Two drawings of Leslie Cole by JVL, 1967
When I started teaching at Brighton Art College in the early 1960s I shared a drawing class with Leslie Cole (1910-1976). Leslie was something of a mentor to me in those days, giving me advice about teaching and always enthusiastic. He was a Second World War Artist of some distinction, whose work, in my opinion, isn't sufficiently recognised. He often told me stories of his experiences at that time. In 1945 he was among the first war artists, along with Mervyn Peake, to observe, and draw, the atrocities in Belsen. An excellent book about his life, with many reproductions of his paintings, has been written by Malcolm Yorke, entitled The Artistry of Leslie Cole, published by the Fleece Press in 2010.