<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Moorhouse, Paul
The great war in portraits / Paul Moorehouse with an essay by Sebastian Faulks.
London, England : National Portrait Gallery, 2014.
Physical Description:
175 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
Reference Library
N9150 .M667 2014 (LC)
Accessible in the Reference Library [Hours]
Note: Please contact the Reference Library to schedule an appointment [Email ycba.reference@yale.edu]

Published to accompany the exhibition of the same name at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from February 27 to June 15, 2014.
Includes index.
Includes bibliographical references (page 169) and index.
In viewing the Great War through the portraits of those involved, Paul Moorhouse looks at the bitter-sweet nature of a conflict in which valour and selfless endeavour were qualified by disaster and suffering, and examines the notion of identity how various individuals associated with the war were represented and perceived. The narrative is structured chronologically, with thematic sections devoted to conflicting pairs Royalty and the Assassin, Leaders and Followers, The Valiant and the Damned which reveal the radical differences between those caught up in the conflict in terms of their respective roles, aspirations, experiences, and, ultimately, their destinies. Leaders and Followers, for example, examines the dichotomy between the representation of senior military leaders such as Blumer, Foch, Haig and Hindenburg, who were responsible for directing the war, and that of the ordinary soldiers charged with executing it. While portraits of the generals emphasise their personal profile, gallantry and the trappings of military power, paintings of the rank and file are characterised by a tendency to anonymity, in which individual identity was subsumed with the impression of types. Claude Rogerss imposing painting Gassed, for instance, presented the individual soldier as a kind of cipher, a depersonalised embodiment of common, degraded experience. Illustrated throughout with images both well known and less familiar, the book concludes with a section entitled Tradition and the Avant-Garde, which focuses on the struggle artists faced in finding an appropriate language in which to depict those who had experienced the unimaginable horror at the front: either by resorting to the steadying hand of tradition or a radical visual language of expressive distortion. -- Provided by publisher.
Subject Terms:
World War, 1914-1918 -- Art and the war.
Faulks, Sebastian.
National Portrait Gallery (Great Britain)

  • Machine generated contents note: The Memory of War / Sebastian Faulks
  • A Richer Dust: The Great War in Portraits / Paul Moorhouse
  • The Rock Drill
  • Royalty and The Assassin
  • Leaders and Followers
  • Fact and Fiction: The Battle of The Somme in Film
  • The Valiant and The Damned
  • Tradition and The Avant-Garde.