This work captures Varley’s proximity to the front as he followed the Allied troops through France, recording their advances. Sketched in graphite, then worked up with watercolour, the shell-torn trees obscure a sky of heavy clouds and white smoke rising from the battle that rages in the distance. Varley’s skill as a draughtsman and his adept handling of the medium convey a brutally honest immediacy.
Materialswatercolour over graphite on wove paper
25.4 x 35.3 cm
Vincent Massey Bequest, 1968