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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

JOHN HODGSON LOBLEY, WAR ARTIST


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   I had not come across this man before but John Hodgson Lobley (1878-1948) was an official war artist who does not quite get up to the celebrity of the Nash (either) or Christopher Nevinson.  He is noted for a very powerful canvas- rather like John Singer Sargent's "Gassed" as being more powerful because of it's size- 3 metres across. Held at an army hall in Huddersfield. It shows a group of soldiers in the font line endeavouring to cook-up a meal-the picture is known locally as the "Fray Bentos picture"  because of the can. Really does convey the wetness, the cold and the fatigue of even the humblest of tasks when in the line.

 

 

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   Lobley was also commissioned by the RAMC to do a series of 25 paintings,all of which,I believe,are held by IWM (as with so many other of the official war artists.)   They convey the treatment of the wounded-in colour-much more powerfully than standard studio photographs of  neat wards and comfortable soldiers (Go to Wellcome Library online for plenty of those) . Lobley made a point of painting some of the RAMC work being done for those maimed, especially with facial wounds.

     A quick zap of Mr. Google's Apparatus and then push "Images" in the strap line will show a selection.  I post a thumbnail of just one of them (as it is local)-  crowds outside Charing Cross Station in August 1916 as trains with the wounded from the Somme came in (every day,all day)

 

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     It seems a pity,in retrospect, that IWM did not get out more of the war artists paintings they hold during the centennial years. Can but hope they get an airing  in the near future rather than gather dust until another anniversary binge comes round.

 

 

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