Photos: iconic WWI prints go on display in London

A new exhibition at London’s Osborne Samuel gallery will showcase the iconic First World War imagery of CRW Nevinson – famed for his evocative lithographs.

CRW-Nevinson,-The-Pool-of-London-(also-known-as-Swing-End--Barges),-c.1920,-drypoint,-17.5-x-14-cm.-Courtesy-Osborne-of-Samuel
The Pool of London (also known as Swing End Barges), c1920 All images credit: Osborne Samuel

An exhibition showcasing the work of painter and lithographer CRW Nevinson will open at Osborne Samuel gallery in September to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Opening on 25 September,  this will be the most comprehensive exhibition of Nevinson’s exquisite prints for almost 15 years and includes his iconic war imagery as well as scenes of London.

CRW-Nevinson,-The-Road-from-Arras-to-Bapaume,-1918,--lithograph,-47.2-x-38.5-cm.-Courtesy-of-Osborne-Samuel
The Road from Arras to Bapaume, 1918
CRW-Nevinson,-A-Dawn,-1914_16,-drypoint,-20.1-X-15-cm.--Courtesy-of-Osborne-Samuel.
Nevinson, a Dawn, 1914
CRW-Nevinson,-After-a-German-Retreat_-labour-Battalion-Making-a--Road-through-a-Captured-Village,-1918,-lithograph,-23.3-x-31.2-cm.-Courtesy-Osborne-of-Samuel
After a German Retreat, Labour Battalion Making a Road through a Captured Village, 1918

This landmark exhibition will present an exceptional selection of Nevinson’s print from all periods, illustrating the evolution of the artist’s vision and highly distinctive style.

CRW Nevinson (1889-1946) is regarded as one of the finest British printmakers of the first half of the 20th century. He made 148 prints between 1916 and 1933, and is credited as producing some of the most poignant images of war in printmaking history.

CRW-Nevinson,-From-Waterloo-Bridge---Sun-Bursting-through-fog,--1924_6,-drypoint-&-aquatint,-27.5-x-17.5-cm.-Courtesy-of-Osborne---Samuel
From Waterloo Bridge, Sun Bursting through Fog, c1924

Nevinson’s stark images of life on the frontline drew the public’s attention to the increasingly mechanised nature of modern warfare and contrasted hugely with some of his peers’ romanticised depictions of the early stages of the war.

CRW-Nevinson,-Manette-Street,-1926_7,-etching,-17.8-x-14-cm.--Courtesy-of-Osborne-Samuel
Manette Street, 1926

A student at the Slade School of Art in London (1909-12), Nevinson opted to join the Friend’s Ambulance Unit as a dedicated pacifist in 1914, before subsequently serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps until he was invalided out of the army in 1916. An exhibition of his paintings later that year brought him to the attention of the chief war propagandist Charles Masterman of the War Propaganda Bureau, who petitioned Nevinson to travel to the Western Front.

CRW-Nevinson,-Nerves-of-an-army,-1918,-drypoint,-20-x-14.2-cm.--Courtesy-of-Osborne-Samuel
Nerves of an Army, 1918
CRW-Nevinson,-Reclaimed-Country,-1917,-drypoint,-20-x-14-cm.-Courtesy-of-Osborne-Samuel
Reclaimed Country, 1917

Shortly after the end of the war, Nevinson travelled to the US where he painted a collection of images of New York. However, his temperamental personality and elaborate war stories made him enemies both in the US and Britain. On his return to Britain, Nevinson earned a reputation as a socialite – he is even credited with holding the first cocktail party in Britain in 1924 by Alec Waugh. But his lasting legacy will remain the craftsmanship and poignancy of his work as an artist.

CRW-Nevinson,-Returning-to-the-Trenches,-1916,-drypoint,-15-x-20--cm.-Courtesy-of-Osborne-Samuel
Returning to the Trenches, 1916
Now-Back-the-Bayonets,-1916,-lithographic-poster,-75-x-48-cm.-Courtesy-of-Osborne-Samuel
Now Back the Bayonets, 1916, lithographic poster

CRW Nevinson runs from 25 September to 18 October 2014 at Osborne Samuel gallery, London. For more information visit www.osbornesamuel.com.

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