ART19990

Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial licensed copyright

ID number ART19990
Title Infantryman
Collection Art
Object type Painting
Maker Benson, George (Artist)
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made c 1919 -1920
Medium oil on canvas
Measurement framed: 152 x 126 x 10.5 cm; unframed: 127.6 x 101 cm

Description

Depicts an Australian Infantryman in uniform, smoking a pipe and holding a rifle with bayonet, leaning against a wooden wall in a trench during the First World War. Further along the trench, in the background, is another Infantryman, in shadow. George Benson (1886- 1960) studied at the National Gallery School, Melbourne, from 1903 to 1904 and worked with the poster designer, Harry J Weston. He was subsequently engaged in cartoon work and verse illustrations for various magazines including the 'Bulletin', Australian 'Punch' and 'Sporting and Dramatic News'. Benson enlisted in September 1914, with the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, serving in Egypt and Gallipoli. He served in France in 1916 with the British Expeditionary Force, later undertaking a camouflage course in England and being appointed an official war artist working as Officer in Charge of Camouflage attached to the 4th Division AIF in France in 1918. Following the war he undertook work with the Australian War Records at St. John's Wood in London. Benson returned to Melbourne in 1919 and his commission was terminated in 1920.