War Artists

As Remembrance day approaches, and the Paul Nash exhibition at Tate Britain opens, we can consider the role artists take in war time.

War artists depict aspects of war through art, exploring aspects of violence and social changes, often not seen in written accounts. The first scheme set up by the British Government was in 1916 during the first world war, when significant artists of the day were commissioned to create visual accounts of the conflicts.

Many of the war artists from the first and second world war can be found in our library collections, including Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer, Edward Bawden, John Piper , Eric Ravilious and Graham Sutherland. Try Bridgeman Education too for image searches (log in through the library catalogue)

Women war artists seem a bit under represented, but see this post from the Imperial War Museum for 6 first world war artworks by women artists.

Defence of Albion by Paul Nash © IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 1933)

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