Pen and ink on paper 1946
The finished Mercatora, location now unknown, was an early post-war allegorical painting study of a female figure tracing lines on a sheet of vellum, Dunbar’s evocation of the cartographic spirit guiding the Flemish map-maker Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594). In these studies the floppy-haired male figure is based on Dunbar’s husband Roger Folley, a wartime RAF navigator for whom lines on maps were supremely important. Probably at his own request Folley was dropped from Dunbar’s final version.
We are grateful to Christopher Campbell-Howes, author of Evelyn Dunbar: A Life in Painting, Romarin, 2016