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The Great War
Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Timeline Maps & Battles The Shaping of the 21st Century Historians
Historians OverviewSarah O'Brian-Twohig

Artists Documenting the War
Sarah O'Brian-Twohig
"The artists were able to condense their memories and their feelings.

"After all, nobody was allowed to photograph or film on site, so we rely entirely on the artists' distillation of their memories. And of course, you can't censor that.

"So when Otto Dix in 1913, brings together all his memories of what it was like being in the trench, plus his suppressed memories – prompted by photographs and all sorts of other means, and looking at newsreels and things – he's actually bringing together a distillation of memory of that feeling; memory of those emotions; memory of those experiences; memory of those sites that were so terrible. I think this is true of a lot of the artists. And that's why it's so curious that in a war that was the first war to have the moving image in it, that we still rely so much on this old-fashioned, as one could say, form of painting and graphics."

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