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Online Exhibition to accompany the B.A.D.A Fair, Duke of York Sq, SW3 19-25 March 2014

100 years on The Great War Revisited


The Great War Revisited “Beauty, Garlanded in Hell”

As the Great War passes inexorably into the realm of the antique, it’s time to remember the exceptional quality of its artistic legacy and to reflect how remarkable it is that, in the midst of such hellish and mechanistic destruction, so many enduring, and vitally alive, works of art came to be produced. It was, in fact, no accident. The official war art schemes developed in 1914 by the British government, in the shape of Charles Masterson’s propaganda unit were unprecedented in their scale and in their long leash approach to the summoning up of artistic quality and innovation. To sponsor the visual arts in such an enlightened way sent out a subtly sophisticated message to the rest of the world (and neutral America in particular) that this was a battle between, on the one side, a liberal civilisation at ease with itself and confident of its innate values, and despotic, vainglorious barbarism. A century on, the results speak for themselves. The Great War may have been an appalling, if arguably necessary, horror, but the richness and variety of its artistic output is something of which the British can be unapologetically, unequivocally proud. The pictures collected together in our exhibition are intended to illustrate the diversity and vitality of that output. Andrew Sim, 2014

EDWARD HANDLEY-READ R.B.A. (1870-1935) Interior of the ruined Cloth Hall, Ypres, 1917 Watercolour and charcoal

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HENRI-LUCIEN CHEFFER A French Perspective The Imperial War Museum holds a number of works by Henri Lucien Cheffer of a similar size and scope to those illustrated here, but this colourful and rare collection of sketches has remained in private hands. Cheffer was a serving soldier in the French army throughout the Great War. His on-thespot sketches on brown paper, using pencil, watercolour and gouache, present a series of vivid and surprising snapshots of the conflict from a series of unusual perspectives. Cheffer presents us with anti-aircraft positions on urban rooftops; machine gun posts; French soldiers in their underwear, bivouacing in woodland and trench systems being dug in virgin farmland by red-neckerchiefed zouaves. Cheffer was born into an artistic family in Paris; his father produced engravings of religious subjects and his cousin was the famous sculptor, Auguste Rodin. Cheffer himself studied at the Beaux-Arts, winning the Prix de Rome in 1906 and becoming a fully fledged member of the Paris Salon (the equivalent of the Royal Academy) where he exhibited oil paintings, watercolours and engravings. Later in life, he became famous for engravings used on postage stamps.

French Machine Gun Post Gouache

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French Air Observers’ Post, 1915 Gouache & watercolour, signed and inscribed


Constructing Fortifications – French troops and civilian workers Gouache and graphite, signed and dated ‘Dec 1914’

French troops bivouacing Gouache, graphite & watercolour, inscribed, signed & dated Sept 1915

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French troops digging trenches Gouache & watercolour, signed and inscribed


French Gun Battery under camouflage Gouache & watercolour, signed

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INTERIOR OF THE RUINED CLOTH HALL, YPRES Edward Handley-Read was a wellknown illustrator, working for The Graphic and The Illustrated London News when war broke out. Despite his age (44), he volunteered for the Artist’s Rifles and was sent to the Western Front, where he rose through the ranks to become a Qtr Master Sergeant Instructor in the Machine Gun Corps. He was then commissioned and by 1918, had risen to the rank of Captain. If anything, the war enhanced his reputation: he staged no less than three one-man exhibitions at the prestigious Leicester Galleries under the headline ‘The British Firing-Line in France and Flanders’. Handley-Read’s training as an illustrator stood him in good stead for his work as a war artist: his quick, expressive sketches in charcoal and watercolour have an immediacy and truth that made them some of the most memorable images of the conflict.

EDWARD HANDLEY-READ R.B.A. (1870-1935) Interior of the ruined Cloth Hall, Ypres, 1917 Watercolour and charcoal

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THE DESTRUCTION OF YPRES

Exhibited The British Firing-Line in France and Flanders� Third series of watercolour drawings by Capt. Ed. Handley-Read (Machine Gun Corp.). Held under direction of Ernest Brown and Phillips at the Alpine Club Gallery, Conduit Street. June 1918 EDWARD HANDLEY-READ R.B.A. (1870-1935) Destruction of Ypres Watercolour and charcoal, signed & dated

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TROOP TRAIN c.1917

Gouache for poster, attr to Bert Thomas

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Lady Limerick’s Free Buffet for Soldiers & Sailors, London Bridge

Anna Zinkeisen Watercolour, signed & dated

Anna Zinkeisen was just 17, and studying at the Royal Academy Schools (where she and her sister had both been awarded scholarships) at the time this charming watercolour was produced. In the Second World War, Zinkeisen and her sister were equally active: Anna worked as a medical artist and VAD nurse at the Royal College of Surgeons, where she made pathological drawings of war-inflicted injuries. Zinkeisen became a notable portraitist in later life, specialising in society figures. A preparatory sketch of this watercolour is known to exist. 8


THE LAST FAREWELL

Fred Taylor R.I. (1875-1943) The Last Farewell Watercolour, signed & dated 26.10.18

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WARSHIPS ON THE TYNE, 1917

Harry Harvey Clarke (1869-1944) Watercolour

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WARTIME BUOY STORE AT BLACKWALL, 1918 This watercolour is a rare depiction of the Trinity House depot at Blackwall, opposite what is now the Millennium Dome, at the mouth of the River Lea where it joins the Thames. The collection of objects shown are various types of navigational marker buoys, the different shapes (conical and spherical) having different meanings. The red painted buoys mark the port hand of a navigable channel and the green painted ones mark the starboard hand. The vessel is the background is a Trinity House lights and buoy tender. All of these vessels had a black hull, white upperworks and buff funnel. These were in service between 1907 and the late 1940s, but since Clilverd was only under naval command between 1914-18, it seems likely that this pictures dates from the Great War period.

Graham Clilverd R.E. (1883-1959) Watercolour, signed ‘Graham Clilverd’

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HENRY GIBBS MASSEY (1860-1934) Massey was the principal of Heatherley’s School of Art during the Great War. After the war, he and his artist wife, Gertrude, visited Northern France on a tour of the battlefield sites and made a number of studies of the newly constructed memorials. The graves were marked in those early days by simple wooden crosses, which were not replaced with more permanent markers until the 1930s.

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Le Dernier Appel - British Military Cemetery at Boulogne Sur Mer Watercolours, signed and dated verso 1921


POPPIES AT WIMEREUX Despite his Italian name, Caffieri was born in Cheltenham and studied in London and Paris. He made his name as a landscape and sporting painter, although he worked as a war correspondent during the Russo-Turkish war in the 1870s. In his later life, he spent a lot of his time in Northern France producing images of fishermen and bucolic village life. It was here that he produced this image - one of the earliest to feature poppies as an emblem of remembrance – at the tomb of Napoleon at Wimereux.

HECTOR CAFFIERI R.I., R.B.A. (1847-1932) Watercolour signed 13


PAUL RENAUDOT (1871-1920)

Head of a French Infantryman, 1915 Graphite

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ANTI ZEPPELIN SEARCHLIGHTS AT WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL C.1916 German aerial attacks on London during the Great War were much less devastating than their Second World War equivalent but their psychological impact was tremendous. Searchlights were initially manned by police but later by the Royal Flying Corps.

PAUL WOLFGANG BRUNT (fl 890-1920) Pastel, signed inscribed and dated 1916 15


THE EMPTY CLUB, AUGUST 1917 The First World War was the making of Frank Salisbury, who shot to fame in 1917 with his depiction of one of the heroes of the Battle of Jutland – a boy sailor called John Travers Cornwell who remained at his post despite being mortally wounded. The portrait was presented to the First Lord of the Admiralty and caused a sensation, bringing Salisbury to the attention of the Royal Family. He quickly became an unofficial ‘Painter Laureate’, painting no less than 25 members of the Royal family and a ‘Who’s Who’ of twentieth century heroes including Winston Churchill, Montgomery and Mountbatten – not to mention Mussolini and six American presidents. He was less popular with the artistic establishment, who sniffed at his old fashioned realism and sturdy Methodist values. Salisbury returned the compliment, dismissing modern art as ‘a daring masquerade’. Despite his establishment credentials, Salisbury was a pacifist and this moodily empty interior can perhaps be seen as a reference to the absences and loss of life on the Western Front.

FRANK OWEN SALISBURY R.I., R.O.I., R.P. (1874-1962) Oil, signed and dated ‘August 1917’

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MURALS OF DEVASTATION

WALTER PERCIVAL STARMER R.W.S. (1877-1961) Walter Percival Starmer was born in Teignmouth in 1877, but grew up in Norwich, where his father, a Congregationalist minister, worked for the Bible Society. Starmer was an outstanding student artist at the Norwich School of Art and progressed to Birmingham School of Art, where he received his first public commission: a mural for Birmingham Town Hall. Starmer inherited his father’s missionary zeal and, at the outbreak of the Great War, chose to serve first as a Red Cross ambulance man and then with the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association), whose symbol was a red triangle. As well as producing descriptive watercolours of the conflict, Starmer also decorated the interior of the treatment huts with reassuring and decorative murals. Starmer’s wartime work was highly valued by the YMCA, and his watercolours were used to illustrate the wartime section of ‘The Romance of the Red Triangle”, Sir Arthur Yapp’s definitive 1919 history of the organisation. Alan Walker, the author of a forthcoming study of Starmer says: “Starmer’s watercolours of devastated landscapes and ruined towns (over thirty of which are in the Imperial War Museum) display the horrors of the conflict but also include subtle Christian imagery suggesting Starmer’s perception of the War as an eschatological event as well as a personal spiritual reorientation.” During the war, Starmer met and became friends with the chaplain of a Red Cross Unit called Basil Bourchier. It was a fortuitous meeting; in peacetime, Bourchier was the vicar of Sir Edwin Lutyens’s recently completed ecclesiastical masterpiece, St Jude’s in Hampstead Garden Suburb, which had yet to be internally decorated. It was a virtual blank canvas for Starmer’s work as a muralist, a project that would occupy him for much of the rest of his career. With thanks to Alan Walker, the vicar of St Jude’s Church in Hampstead Garden Suburb, a Lutyens design, which contains a number of murals, paintings and stained glass designs by Starmer. Father Walker is currently writing a book on Starmer. W.P.Starmer photo courtesy Kirkby Starmer Collection 17


DEATH’S VALLEY - BETWEEN MONTAUBAN AND FLERS

WALTER PERCIVAL STARMER R.W.S. (1877-1961) Watercolour, signed and dated. Original frame and labels etc.

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ALBERT - BAPAUME ROAD Remarkably, given the age of the picture, a handwritten description of the picture has survived, in the form of a note pasted to the frame. Starmer says: “This road before the war was lined with tall trees, cultivated field and many villages. Nothing can be seen now but intersecting shell holes. The road is kept in good condition in order to carry the heavy traffic to Cambrai etc�.

WALTER PERCIVAL STARMER R.W.S. (1877-1961) Watercolour, extensively inscribed and dated. Original frame and labels etc.

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CAMBRIA TO BAPAUME ROAD & THE HINDENBURG LINE Again, Starmer’s original description of the contents of the picture survives on a brown paper label pasted to the frame. He says: “Showing where the Hindenburg Line and the Nord Canal cut across the road between the two mine craters which were blown in the road by the retiring army”.

WALTER PERCIVAL STARMER R.W.S. (1877-1961) Watercolour, extensively inscribed and dated. Original frame and labels etc.

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All of the pictures in this brochure are for sale and will be

exhibited on our stand (A54) at the BADA Fair in Duke of York Square, SW3 (March 19 - 25).

Please contact us for further details/prices etc.

Contact: Andrew Sim Email: simfineart@btinternet.com Telephone: 07919 356150

Photography Matthew Hollow

Design Ant Graphics Design Services


100 Years On - The Great War Revisited