- ID number
- Object type
- Black & white - Print silver gelatin
- Date made
- c 1918
- Studio portrait of Lieutenant Arthur Ernest Streeton, Official War Artist. Streeton had been a member of the Heidelberg school of artists in Melbourne before travelling to England. He was one of a number of artists, including fellow Australians George Coates, Tom Roberts and A Henry Fullwood, who were too old to enlist for active service, but who volunteered to work as orderlies with the Royal Army Medical Corps at the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth. After his discharge as medically unfit, Streeton lobbied for the establishment of an Australian war art scheme. He was offered a commission by the Canadian government but declined, preferring to work for Australia. In 1918 while based in London, he was appointed by the Australian War Memorial as an official war artist and travelled to France to record the involvement of Australians in the battles taking place along the Somme River. During the period of his employment he produced ten paintings and eighty-six drawings that are held by the Memorial. These were all executed in the years 1918 and 1919. The Memorial later purchased his painting 'HMS Renown, Sydney Harbour' painted in 1922, and commissioned several large paintings of significant wartime subjects. Streeton worked mostly around the Somme battlefields until mid-August 1918, when he returned to London. His drawings, watercolours and paintings show the AIF headquarters at St Gratien, Glisy and Heilly, the dressing stations at Villers-Bretonneux, landscape studies and scenes of wrecked machinery. In October and November, Streeton returned to France, again with the 2nd Division. This time his works concentrated on the destruction around Peronne. Streeton completed his contract as an official war artist with 'The Somme Valley above Corbie', a large landscape showing the opening stages of the third battle of the Somme. Streeton returned to Australia in 1920, a famous and popular artist. He was knighted for his services to art in 1937 and died at Olinda, Victoria, in 1943.