War artist  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
art horror, horrors of war

A war artist, also known as a combat artist, captures the experience of war in an artistic manner whilst based in the battlefield. Unlike war poets, a war artist is almost always acting in an official capacity.


Famous War Artists


The Australian tradition of war artists started with the First World War. Will Dyson, an expatriate Australian artist living in London petitioned the Australian government to allow him to travel to the Western Front where Australian forces were fighting. In 1917 he was finally granted permission to accompany the Australian Imperial Force to record the activities of its soldiers and thus became the first Australian official war artist. This scheme was expanded upon and other Australian artists were commissioned to undertake forays to the front lines to record the Australian experience of war.

At the same time, artists who had already enlisted and were fighting with the AIF, were appointed official war artists for the Australian Army.

During the Second World War, the Australian War Museum, later called the Australian War Memorial, continued the scheme and appointed war artists whilst the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force appointed their own official war artists from within their ranks.

Since the Second World War, the Australian War Memorial have appointed war artists to record the activities of Australian forces in Korea, Vietnam, East Timor and Afghanistan and both the Australian War Memorial and the Australian Army have appointed official war artists to depict Australian forces in Iraq.




New Zealand

South Africa


United States

World War I

World War II


See also


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "War artist" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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