Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This image is licensed under CC BY-NC

ID number ART02928
Title Searchlight
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Maker Leist, Fred (Artist)
Places made
  • Belgium
  • France
Date made c. 1917-1918
Medium oil on artist board
Measurement unframed: 30.4 x 40.6 cm


A group of soldiers and an officer are depicted near a lit anti-aircraft searchlight on the Western Front. The powerful beam of the searchlight streaks diagonally across the picture plane, contrasting against the silent darkness of the night and the quietly expectant men nearby. Fred Leist was appointed an official war artist in September 1917, attached to the 5th Division AIF and worked twice in France between September to December 1917 and from June to August 1918.