London’s National Portrait Gallery will mark the Centenary of World War I with a display of paintings, films and sculptures inspired by the conflict.
The exhibition, entitled The Great War in Portraits, will run from 27 February until 15 June 2014. It will feature portraits of famous figures such a Sir Winston Churchill and war poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon as well as numerous photographs of ordinary soldiers.
Major loans on display will include artworks by Expressionists Lovis Corinth and Max Beckmann and Ludwig Kirchner’s Selbstbildnis als Soldat – Self-portrait as a Soldier. Beckmann was greatly influenced by his war service as a medic, while Kirchner had a brief career as an artillery driver before being declared mentally ill and unfit for military service in 1915.
Other works will include Jacob Epstein’s The Rock Drill as well as portraits of the men who led the armies and a photograph of Gavrilo Princip, whose murder of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand triggered the conflict.
Exhibition curator Paul Moorhouse said: ‘The Great War in Portraits explores a complex range of human experience.
‘Evolving different roles, responsibilities and destinies, it illuminates the way war was represented through portraits of individuals – each caught up in events beyond reason or control.’
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