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ART03597

Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number ART03597
Title Mont Kemmel from near Hill 60
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Artist Benson, George
Places made
  • Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli;
  • Western Front: Western Front (Belgium), Ypres Area, Kemmel;
Date made c 1917
Medium oil on canvas
Measurement unframed: 76.2 x 127.2 cm

Description

Depicts a landscape, with two soldiers in the foreground, at Hill 60, one seated, one standing, trees in a field in the middle ground and Mount Kemmel, Ypres Area, Western Front, during the First World War. Kemmel Ridge was a key feature on the French-Belgium border that came under attack during the German Army's Lys offensive of April 1918. British and dominion forces held the ridge against a series of German assaults between 17 and 19 April 1918. The Germans renewed their attack on 26 April and, having broken through the French forces holding the line to the south of the ridge, were able to wrest it from its defenders. George Courtney Benson (1886-1960) was a painter and muralist. He studied at the National Gallery School, Melbourne from 1903 and later worked for the 'Bulletin' in Sydney, then as an illustrator and cartoonist for Melbourne 'Punch'. As a result of his drawings at Gallipoli and in France during the First World War, he was appointed official war artist in 1918. He served with the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade and from June 1916 was with the British Expeditionary Forces in France. After the war, he continued to work for the War Records Section and returned to Melbourne in 1919 to complete works for the War Memorial and spent the next decade painting watercolour landscapes and working as a book illustrator. In 1931 he moved to Western Australia to undertake work on murals. Benson enlisted in the Australian Citizens Military Forces from 1940 to 1943, working in camouflage.