C.R.W. 'Richard' Nevinson was a young English artist close to the Futurist movement. He enlisted as an ambulance driver and participated in November 1914 in the Battle of Ypres.
His health was deteriorating rapidly. During his convalescence he painted the war in its everyday life, an ordeal without liberty and without honors. In France conscription was obligatory : the soldiers had not chosen the heroism. Nevinson alternatively uses several modernist techniques but his images tell the same anonymous story as the photos brought home by the poilus.
On November 21 in London, Sotheby's sells A Dawn (1914), oil on canvas 57 x 48 cm painted in 1916, lot 5 estimated £ 700K. This painting appeared at the Leicester Gallery in the fall of 1916 in a solo exhibition applauded by Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw.
The French troops in march occupy the whole width of the street. No spectator cheers them and there is no flag in the windows. The scene is punctuated by the positions of the bayonets. The faces of the first ranks are differentiated. From the fifth rank this crowd forms the cubist mosaic of the multitude of the unknown soldiers.
SOLD for £ 1.87M including premium