Art in the Af­ter­math

This ti­tle ex­plores the artists who cap­tured WWI’S im­me­di­ate and en­dur­ing af­ter­math

History of War - - CONTENTS -

In the years fol­low­ing 1918, thou­sands of sol­diers from across the globe re­turned home to a world that had al­ready been ir­re­versibly changed. In his new ti­tle, The Ar­mistice And The Af­ter­math:

The Story In Art, au­thor and broad­caster John Fair­ley tells the story of the Ar­mistice and post­war years through con­tem­po­rary art­works. From Wil­liam Or­pen, who was of­fi­cially com­mis­sioned to pro­duce grand de­pic­tions of the Paris Peace Con­fer­ence in 1919, to the less or­tho­dox Otto Dix, a vet­eran who por­trayed the harsh and bru­tal re­al­i­ties of the war from the Ger­man per­spec­tive, this col­lec­tion presents a range of styles and ex­pe­ri­ences of life in the af­ter­math of the war. Here au­thor John Fair­ley de­scribes a se­lec­tion of the art­works in his new book. The Ar­mistice And The Af­ter­math is avail­able now from Pen & Sword Books.

The Sign­ing Of The Ar­mistice MAU­RICE PILLARD VERNEUIL

Brought to see Mar­shal Foch, the Al­lied supreme com­man­der, in his rail­way car­riage, the Ger­mans fi­nally signed the Ar­mistice agree­ment at 5am on 11 Novem­ber. It was to come into ef­fect at 11am, but in that re­main­ing six hours a num­ber of army com­man­ders chose to press on with a planned at­tack. Up to 11,000 sol­diers from all sides were ca­su­al­ties in those fi­nal hours.

Ar­mistice Night, Amiens WIL­LIAM OR­PEN

The Ar­mistice cel­e­bra­tions were, across the whole of the West­ern world, prob­a­bly the most joy­ous day of the en­tire cen­tury, as Wil­liam Or­pen’s paint­ing of Amiens vividly shows. But not every­one was so de­lighted. Or­pen him­self, that morn­ing, had seen a ser­vant girl in his ho­tel weep­ing at the un­wel­come prospect of her soldier hus­band com­ing home.

“IN THAT RE­MAIN­ING SIX HOURS A NUM­BER OF ARMY COM­MAN­DERS CHOSE TO PRESS ON WITH A PLANNED AT­TACK. UP TO 11,000 SOL­DIERS FROM ALL SIDES WERE CA­SU­AL­TIES IN THOSE FI­NAL HOURS”

Sink­ing Of The Ger­man Fleet BERNARD GRIB­BLE

Bernard Grib­ble's paint­ing of Ger­man ships sink­ing at Scapa Flow, in the Orkneys, is an eye­wit­ness ac­count of when the sailors still man­ning the im­pris­oned Ger­man bat­tle fleet were or­dered by their com­mand­ing of­fi­cer – tak­ing ad­van­tage of the fact the guardian Bri­tish fleet had sailed off for ex­er­cises – to open the sea cocks. The Bri­tish came back to find 52 Ger­man navy ves­sels sink­ing to the bot­tom.

The Ceme­tery, Eta­ples JOHN LAV­ERY

John Lav­ery's paint­ing of the or­dered rows of wooden crosses be­side the beach at Eta­ples, France, records the scene when there were al­ready more than 10,000 graves in 1918. Eta­ples was to be­come, un­der the guid­ing hand of ar­chi­tect Ed­win Lu­tyens, what is still one of the most im­pres­sive of the great ceme­ter­ies, which lies be­hind the bat­tle lines of the Great War.

“SAILORS STILL MAN­NING THE IM­PRIS­ONED GER­MAN BAT­TLE FLEET WERE OR­DERED BY THEIR COM­MAND­ING OF­FI­CER – TAK­ING AD­VAN­TAGE OF THE FACT THE GUARDIAN BRI­TISH FLEET HAD SAILED OFF FOR EX­ER­CISES – TO OPEN THE SEA COCKS”

Skull (Schädel) OTTO DIX

Otto Dix's supremely re­pel­lent worm-laden skull was part of the pas­sion­ate paci­fist move­ment that dom­i­nated Ger­man art in the years af­ter the Ar­mistice. Dix had ea­gerly joined the Ger­man army early in the war, and in­deed had been op­er­at­ing a ma­chine gun against the ad­vanc­ing Bri­tish troops on the Somme. But his Skull shows how com­pletely he felt the waste of the war and the mis­ery of de­feat.

“RAID ON OUR TRENCH, ONE OF THE MOST VIVID EVO­CA­TIONS OF THE AC­TU­AL­ITY OF TRENCH FIGHT­ING, WAS PAINTED BY THE AMER­I­CAN SOLDIER CLAGGETT WIL­SON”

Raid On Our Trench CLAGGETT WIL­SON

Raid On Our Trench, one of the most vivid evo­ca­tions of the ac­tu­al­ity of trench fight­ing, was painted by the Amer­i­can soldier Claggett Wil­son only a few years af­ter he had got back from the war. It had taken him a long time to be able to make this and other war paint­ings. But he con­tin­ued to work, and was rec­om­mended for a No­bel Prize.

A Gre­nadier Guards­man WIL­LIAM OR­PEN

Ar­mistice Day, 1918 GIFFORD BEAL

Ar­mistice Day, Paris FRANK MY­ERS BOGGS

Har­vest Of Bat­tle CHRISTO­PHER R.W. NEVINSON

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