Dead beat, the tunnel, Hill 60

Accession Number ART02210
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 50.2 x 44.8 cm; image: 49 x 43.8 cm
Object type Work on paper
Physical description brush and ink, charcoal on paper
Place made Belgium: Flanders, West-Vlaanderen, Ypres
Date made 1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Depicts an exhausted Australian soldier wearing full kit and greatcoat, sleeping in a tunnel during the Third Battle of Ypres. Indistinct figures of two other soldiers seen in the background. Dyson, appointed the first Australian official war artist in 1917, had no illusions about war. He declared: 'I never drew a single line except to show war as the filthy business that it was'. In this drawing his empathy with the weary soldier is keenly communicated. Will Dyson was the first Australian official war artist to visit the front during the First World War, travelling to France in December 1916, remaining there until May 1917, making records of the Australian involvement in the war. He was formally appointed as an official war artist, attached to the AIF, in May 1917, working in France and London throughout the war. His commission was terminated in March 1920.