Xotic Angel & Albert Cloutier - War Artist

Canadian RCAF war artist Albert Cloutier was born in the United States in 1902. His Canadian parents returned to Montreal when he was still a young child, and in his teens he studied art under several famous Canadian artists. For ten years he was a freelance artist before he took the job of Canadian federal government war poster production, which he held from 1940 to 1944. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in March 1944 and became the official war artist of the RCAF, with rank of flight lieutenant. Cloutier sketched and painted the life at various detachments of the RCAF throughout Eastern Air Command.

Lancaster X, KB-890, Xotic Angel, note the blue spinners. (painting is located at the Canadian War Museum)

In July 1945, war artist Cloutier used his breezy style of bright washes of color to paint the Canadian built Lancaster Mk. X (KB890) aircraft parked at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The aircraft of No. 434 (Bluenose) Squadron have just returned to Canada, after flying tactical bombing operations in Europe. They have been selected as part of “Tiger Force” for duty in the Pacific. Cloutier has captured this moment in Canadian history and while immersed in his sweeping pencil sketch and watercolors, his talents have copied the nose art lady painted by another unknown artist.

After the war, Cloutier resumed his art career painting and teaching. He died in Quebec, in June 1965 at age 63 years. His war art collection is just a small part of the vast collection of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

Sadly the Nose Artist who painted the Canadian Lancaster is still unknown.

Photo was taken by Ray Wise near Pearce Alberta, 10 September 1945.

With the sudden end to the war with Japan, “Tiger Force” is disbanded on 5 September 45 and “Xotic Angel” (KB890) is flown to Pearce, Alberta, where Cpl. Edge looks out of the cockpit. Who painted this impressive nude lady?

Should the (unofficial) artist who painted this (Canadian) bomber in wartime England be forgotten by Canadians, while the same watercolor by Albert Cloutier are depicted as true War Art?

Thanks to Clarence Simonsen for submitting the history on Xotic Angel and Albert Cloutier.