Prisoner-of-war compound, Abbeville

Accession Number ART03528
Collection type Art
Measurement framed: 53.4 x 99.2 cm; unframed: 37.8 x 82.8 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description watercolour with pencil on paper
Maker Streeton, Arthur
Place made France: Picardie, Somme, Abbeville
Date made August 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Abbeville; barbed wire, encampment; fences of barbed wire reinforced with wire entalglements surrounding Nissen huts accommodating German prisoners
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.