FEATURE STORY Bringing light to the battle of Liri Valley with art by Laura Dillman Ripley STEVENS ’56 N ancy Stevens is not a war artist. But the awardwinning painter’s latest works bring a little-known battle of the Second World War to the spotlight with The Liri Valley Paintings. “Canadians played a significant role in the Liri Valley campaign in Italy, which ended just two days before D-Day in 1944,” says Stevens. “These battles enabled the Allies to liberate Rome from German occupation. I first visited the valley after graduation and again several years ago with my husband Kingsley Brown, who was doing research for a biography of a soldier who had fought in the Liri Valley, the fertile corridor through the mountains between Naples and Rome. “We visited places where Canadian soldiers had battled to clear the valley of the enemy. When our Italian friend said, ‘The earth is soaked in the blood of Canadian soldiers,’ as we looked out over the valley from the courtyard of the restored Benedictine monastery of Montecassino, I knew I had to do something to honour their memory.” So Stevens, with Brown’s help, got to work completing ten unique paintings that each represent significant events and battles. “I’m not a war artist and knew it wouldn’t be right for me to paint in this style. So I decided to create images from art history and artists who had witnessed the war first-hand, along with my own BFA NANCY 20 / Fall 2014 / RECORD