Armoured car

Accession Number ART03511
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 37.4 x 55.4 cm; image: 37.4 x 55.4 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description watercolour with pencil on paper
Maker Streeton, Arthur
Date made 27 May 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Depicts the Austin Armoured 1918 Pattern armoured car, with modified wheels and armoured cabinet at rear, on the Bapaume Road near Albert. In front is a partially sketched motor vehicle with its cabriolet down and telegraph poles and lines visible in the skyline.

Arthur Streeton is best known as one of the painters of the Heidelberg School in Melbourne in the late nineteenth century. His name is linked with Tom Roberts, Charles Conder, and Frederick McCubbin as responsible for developing in Australia an impressionist technique of painting, and depicting scenes that embraced the nationalistic concerns of the last two decades of the nineteenth century. During his lifetime he was acknowledged as the finest painter of the Australian landscape; he was the first Australian painter to be honoured by a retrospective exhibition in his own lifetime; and only the second to be knighted.

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 HMS Renown, Sydney Harbour painted in 1922, and commissioned several large paintings of significant wartime subjects.

The Austin Armoured Cars were used to support allied and Australian advances during the battle of Amiens, and other events, and one of them in particular helped in the capture of the Australian War Memorial collection Amiens gun. Another advance helped capture the German HQ at Frammerville and it had carried inside the Australian Corps flag, which was then run up the flagpole of the German HQ.