Brian Stonehouse

19 – x

Brian Stonehouse, New York2021-12-09T22:28:32+00:00
Brian Stonehouse, Model in New York2021-12-09T22:29:44+00:00
Brian Stonehouse, Cow Girl2021-12-09T22:30:54+00:00


Brian Stonehouse had an eclectic set of careers: he was a Vogue fashion artist, a wartime secret agent and a professional portrait painter. Born in the west country of England, Stonehouse spent his early life in France. He then went on to study at Ipswich Art School before becoming an illustrator for British Vogue. At the outbreak of war in 1939 he enlisted in the army and following a short time acting as a translator, he was recruited into SOE (Special Operations Executive). In June 1942, Stonehouse was parachuted into the Loire Valley as a wireless operator. Just four months later, in October 1942, he was captured and interned at Fresnes prison (where he was kept in solitary confinement for 10 months) before being transferred to the concentration camps of Saarbrücken, Mauthausen Natzweiler-Struth and Dachau. He was liberated by the US Army on 29th April 1945. It is largely understood that he survived the camps owing to his artistic skills – bargaining for his survival with sketches of the guards and SS officers. Stonehouse’s camp sketches were later referenced in the Nuremberg war crimes trials following the end of war in 1946. After the war from 1946 and for the next 30 years, Stonehouse returned to the world of fashion. He moved to New York working principally for American Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elizabeth Arden. Towards the end of his life he returned to England and became a sought-after portrait painter. Stonehouse’s perfect draftsmanship with a flowing line made him a leading fashion artist of his time and one that should be especially remembered owing to his extraordinary bravery in WWII.