Stanley Spencer created the most extensive and individual cycle of paintings commemorating soldiers of the First World War in Britain when he painted, in a conscious imitation of Giotto, the Sandham memorial chapel at Burghclere. His unique and eccentric interest in the most mundane aspects of a soldier's life meant that nowhere in the huge area of painted panels did he attempt to portray heroism or even fighting, but was deeply fascinated by the minutiae of everyday survival.
Ludwig Hesshaimer, though hardly known in the UK, was perhaps the most successful and prolific war artist in the Austro-Hungarian Army, who by a quirk of fate was present at the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914. The illustrative power of his precise drawing style, performed with cool discipline in the most difficult of circumstances, was an astounding achievement. A regular army officer, he admitted at the end of the war that he had never fired his pistol in combat, for all the action his pencil had seen.
They never met, but as chance would have it, both were present, and drawing, on the little-known Macedonian Front, on opposite sides of the battle line.
This lecture examines both their personal history and work as artists and the background of fighting in Macedonia. Further, we follow their quite distinct post war careers.
For more information on the ACE Cultural Tours, Artists of the Great War with Mark Powell please follow the link.
Artist/speaker: Mark Powell
Mark studied languages and art at Durham University, the Ruskin Art School and St John's College, Oxford.
Mark lectured in the humanities at Buckingham University for four years and has been travelling, photographing and leading cultural and historic tours in Europe since 1984. His interest in the architecture of central and eastern Europe results from the time he spent teaching at a school in Vienna.
Mark contributes articles to the Architectural Review and other learned publications.