Laura Pepper, an English artist living in the UK, was moved to produce this commemorative image to mark the historic First World War Centenary (originally an oil on canvas but a complete departure from her usual genre).
The spirit of the time is conveyed by the use of sepia tones. However, it is foremost a symbolic painting which she hopes the viewer will find both atmospheric and poignant, connecting with the present generation as they reflect on the battles fought by their relatives and the human cost involved, personal reflection encouraged by national and international commemorative events over this centenary period.
To this end, some nineteen key battle names are mentioned in the entanglement of barbed wire and the five poppies are symbolic of those five years of war in which a generation was lost.
As she wanted the image to resonate with the widest possible audience, the lone soldier is not specific to any particular regiment and is intentionally not wearing a steel helmet (first introduced to British soldiers in 1915), as she wanted to accentuate the vulnerability of the men on the battlefield in such basic uniform.
The destiny of the lone soldier walking a path where so many soldiers have trodden before him is for the viewer to decide - is he symbolic of the survivors of battle or of the fallen?
The role of the Royal Flying Corps in reconnaissance and artillery observation is acknowledged. The fractured cartwheel in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture represents in particular the role of the horse and mule in WW1, used mostly to transport ammunition and supplies to the Front, they sustained heavy losses in appalling conditions.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this item are designated for this endeavor.
A Certificate of Authenticity as Official Merchandise of the United States World War One Centennial is included.
First World War Centenary Poster
- Product Code: WW201
- Availability: 11