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Artistic Expressions and the Great War, A Hundred Years On

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Edited By Sally Debra Charnow

The Great War set in motion all of the subsequent violence of the twentieth century. The war took millions of lives, led to the fall of four empires, established new nations, and negatively affected others. During and after the war, individuals and communities struggled to find expression for their wartime encounters and communal as well as individual mourning. Throughout this time of enormous upheaval, many artists redefined their role in society, among them writers, performers, painters, and composers. Some sought to renew or re-establish their place in the postwar climate, while others longed for an irretrievable past, and still others tried to break with the past entirely.

This volume offers a significant interdisciplinary contribution to the study of modern war, exploring the ways that artists contributed to wartime culture – both representing and shaping it – as well as the ways in which wartime culture influenced artistic expressions. Artists’ places within and against reconstruction efforts illuminate the struggles of the day. The essays included represent a transnational perspective and seek to examine how artists dealt with the experience of conflict and mourning and their role in (re-)establishing creative practices in the changing climate of the interwar years.

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List of Figures

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Figures

Chapter 1:   Illustrators, Icons, and the InfantrymanRe-imagined: Cartoon Soldiers of the Great War by Libby Murphy

Figure 1.1: Francisque Poulbot, ‘Ils nous prennent pour des artilleurs / They think we are artillerymen.’ © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Figure 1.2: Francisque Poulbot, ‘Un assaut Boche / A Boche Attack’ © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Figure 1.3: Bruce Bairnsfather, ‘Natural History of the War: The Flanders Sea Lion (Leo Maritimus)’.

Figure 1.4: Bruce Bairnsfather, ‘No “Light” Call’.

Figure 1.5: Gus Bofa, ‘Les Loustics,’ [Funny Guys]. © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris; Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Figure 1.6: Gus Bofa, ‘Les joies du retour / The joys of homecoming’. © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris; Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Figure 1.7: Gus Bofa, ‘T’en fais pas!’ [Don’t Worry]. © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris; Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Chapter 2:   Romancing the Bayonet: Blood, Glory, and the Battlefield Sublime in American Depictions of the Great War by Breanne Robertson

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