Following the Paris Commune of 1871, history painters resorted to indirect reference in paintings of obscure episodes in mediaeval history.
Why would an artist compose a painting to hide the face? Examples by Degas, Anders Zorn, John Singer Sargent and others. It’s our faces that make us human.
Mud as painted in the Danish countryside, and in Norway. But the last word goes to war: both in the Franco-Prussian and First World Wars.
From John Singer Sargent to Charles Demuth, war artists showing the horrors of the Great War to the wild waters and hills of central Canada.
Landscapes influenced by Blake and Palmer, then some of the strongest images of the First World War. The start of a remarkable career.
War Artists can work in any of the genres, but history painting is a natural choice. Here are some of the best from 1800 to 1945.