Quad royal pictorial map of London, 101.5 x 127 cm, blank verso.
On returning to Blandford Studio in 1946 after his war service with the Air Ministry, Lee spent six months working on a map rich in historical, architectural and literary detail which celebrated the capital’s survival, and symbolic wartime role. Lee chose an apposite quote by Churchill: “We would rather see London in ruins and ashes than that it should be tamely and abjectly enslaved.” The map was issued in two sizes, of which this is the larger version, and it was marketed overseas (especially in America) by the Travel Association of Great Britain.
Lee created a revised, double royal version of his map for the 1951 Festival of Britain, incorporating Abram Games’ emblem, and a view of the Royal Festival Hall in the border. The South Bank venue also features on this version of the map, and following nationalisation the names of the Big Four railway companies were dropped from the London termini. none of these details were transfrred to the larger map, but the B.T.A. logo has been dropped and replaced with the head of Mithras found during excavation of the London Mithraeum in 1954. Lee’s characteristic signature appears bottom right, showing the artist seated at his easel with his dog.