A book review covering a collection of drawings by one of the Official War Artists, Muirhead Bone (1873 - 1953). The book was titled, and it is not surprising to read that it was published by Country Life. The reviewer was not at all impressed with the artist's renderings of, what was at that time, the most dangerous place on planet earth:
"In these drawings Mr. Muirhead Bone has resolutely refused to become a journalist. He has not allowed the novelty of his subject-matter to affect his treatment. There he differs from Mr. Nevinson. Mr. Nevinson in his pictures of the war is not a journalist but at least an illustrator."
Nonetheless, Sir Douglas Haig wrote a supportive introduction to the book. Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) found his drawings to be highly inaccurate at best.
In 1918, the London-based American expatriot sculptor Jacob Epstein was living life to the fullest and enjoying all the benefits his talents had provided him. He had no intention of joining the army of his adopted country and had successfully avoided the draft since the outbreak of the war. However in 1918, conscription caught up with him. Epstein hated the idea of joining the colors, believing that the military would kill his creative soul, but this article puts a nice spin on all that.
In the immediate aftermath of the First World War there were many eye witnesses to the slaughter who refused to remember it as a "Noble Struggle". The chubby and comfortable fellows who ran the British Government couldn't have known that the society portraitist William Orpen was one of these witnesses - but they soon found out when they commissioned him to make a pretty painting depicting all the pomp that was taking place at Versailles...
Just as the American poet Walt Whitman once remarked concerning the American Civil War - that "the real war will never make it into books", so goes the thinking of the ink-stained wretch who penned the attached column regarding the efforts of the Official War Artists during W.W. I - who attempted to render accurately the horrors of war. Such genuine indecency could never allow itself to be duplicated into a two or three dimensional format.
An illustrated article about the American sculptor Jo Davidson (1883 – 1952) and his creation, FRANCE AROUSED. The Davidson piece, a colossal depiction of France as an outraged warrior queen, was intended for the French village of Senlis to serve as a memorial to that remarkable day in September, 1914, when the German drive on Paris was stopped and driven back. It was at Senlis where the earlier successes of the German Army were reversed.
"To those in America and Europe who believed in the new doctrine of political equality, it was the most thrilling day in her history."
"When France in wrath
Her giant - limbs
And with that oath,
Which smote air,
Earth and sea
Stamped her strong
foot and said she
Would be free."
The statue, which is twenty feet high, was made in the sculptor's studio in McDougal Alley (NYC), where it was photographed for the pages of VANITY FAIR.
In 1919, Jo Davidson would endeavor to create a number of busts depicting the various entente statesmen who participated in the Peace Treaty.
Various musings concerning the influences that war has had on art through the centuries are discussed in this article, with particular attention paid to the historical belief that wars are won by those nations that host the more vibrant and original arts communities.