If you want to see the transport scene evolve via artwork, then you really need to obtain a copy of this particular book. It is the fourth one by Malcolm Root that I have purchased and equally as good as the others. As per usual the colour plates are extremely good and the narrative provided by Tom Tyler compliments these extremely well, making it very difficult to put down once you have started to read it and you will find yourself absorbed by the scenes depicted, which may even stimulate a few memories.
This is the third book in this publisher’s series highlighting the work of the highly-acclaimed painter of transport, Malcolm Root. The text is again by Tom Tyler.
In his preface, Tyler tells us that the book has been arranged chronologically in terms of the transport portrayed. Sixty-six of Root’s paintings are reproduced. Some feature more than one form of transportation. For instance, that titled ‘Gosport Ferry’ barely focusses on the subject-title itself where a warship and no less than five double-decker buses also appear. On a rough count, twenty-five of the sixty-six pictures feature predominantly road transport; nineteen are of trains (or rail); eight feature tractors or traction engines; six are of ships and boats; and four feature aircraft. The remaining four feature more than one mode of transport equally.
It is amazing how Root has portrayed the stillness of the lake in ‘High Road to Aberfeldy’; the blades of grass in ‘Lynton Evening’; and the receding urban hillside behind ‘Halstead High Street’. But there are problems of scale too. For instance, if indeed it is Tom Tyler himself that is portrayed in the painting called ‘Farmyard Banter’, then I think he would have great difficulty squeezing into the cab of the GWR cattle truck that stands at the same depth of field only a few feet away.
Finally, we are informed in the text that there is an anomaly in the painting ‘Country Delivery’. In fact, my partner and I think there are two: not only are the shadows in the wrong direction for the time of day, but the reflection of the house in the water should not be there. Do others agree?
If you want to see the work of a brilliant artist who can paint most things this is the book for you. each time you look at the pictures you see something else to admire. For those of a certain age the pictures bring back many memories.