THE GREAT WAR
C. R. W. NEVINSON
GRANT RICHARDS Ltd, London, 1918
(First Edition, signed by C. R. W. Nevinson)
The very rare 1918 first edition of The Great War, by C. R. W. Nevinson, published by Grant Richards Ltd in 1918, complete with its signed colour frontispiece. This is one of the individually numbered limited edition of 100 copies (this is number 13) that originally had an etching of Nevinson’s Nerves of an Army in a pocket at the rear. The etching is missing from the pocket. The book includes an introductory essay by J. E. Crawford Flitch, a colour frontispiece of an aeroplane in flight, ‘Banking’ signed by Nevinson, and 24 monochrome plates, featuring Nevinson’s work as a war artist during the First World War. The plates include several of Nevinson’s well known works, such as ‘The Roads of France’, ’The Road from Arras to Bapaume’, ‘Bursting Shell’, and ‘After a Push’. In the paintings reproduced in this book Nevinson was moving away from the Futurist style towards a more naturalistic, journalistic approach that developed as the reality of war challenged Futurism’s ideals. Futurism glorified warfare and the machine, and these views are partly echoed in Nevinson’s work. While serving in France and Belgium Nevinson witnessed horrific human suffering and misery. Much of his work is ‘brutally frank’, a representation of the ‘grim, undiluted tragedy’ of war.
C. R. W. Nevinson (1889–1946): Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson was an English painter, etcher and lithographer, who became one of the most famous war artists of World War I. Nevinson studied at the Slade School of Art under Henry Tonks and alongside Stanley Spencer and Mark Gertler. When he left the Slade, Nevinson befriended Marinetti, the leader of the Italian Futurists, and the radical writer and artist Wyndham Lewis. Nevinson later fell out with Lewis and the other 'rebel' artists when he attached their names to the Futurist movement. Lewis immediately founded the Vorticists, an avant garde group of artists and writers from which Nevinson was excluded. At the outbreak of World War I, Nevinson joined the Friends' Ambulance Unit and was deeply disturbed by his work tending wounded French soldiers. For a brief period he served as a volunteer ambulance driver, before ill health forced his return to Britain. Subsequently, Nevinson volunteered for home service with the Royal Army Medical Corps. He used these experiences as the subject matter for a series of powerful paintings which used the machine aesthetic of Futurism and the influence of Cubism to great effect. His fellow artist Walter Sickert wrote at the time that Nevinson's painting 'La Mitrailleuse', 'will probably remain the most authoritative and concentrated utterance on the war in the history of painting.' In 1917, Nevinson was appointed an official war artist.
In very good condition, ex-library. The boards are in very good condition, with wear and tape reinforcement to the spine label, and a sticker removal mark to the front board. The title label on the front board is in very good condition. There is a library sticker and sticker removal marks to the front endpapers. There are no other library markings. The binding is secure. The text is in very good condition. The illustrations are in very good condition. The colour frontispiece, ‘Banking’, signed in pencil by C. R. W. Nevinson, is in excellent condition, with its tissue guard also in good condition.
With a colour frontispiece signed by C. R. W. Nevinson
and 24 monochrome plates
Brown boards with paper title labels
Dimensions: 225mm x 295mm
Pages: 25 (text), plus 24 monochrome plates, 1 colour plate