Coquelicot Art of the First World War
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Guillaume Apollinaire, Le brigadier marqué, Le pas de l'embusqué et Sans titre (The Marked Brigadier, The Shirker's Step and Untitled), Triptych, Centre Mondial de la Paix, Verdun. Photo Lionel Studio, Verdun.

The battlefield

28 - Guillaume Apollinaire

As a soldier occasionally with time to spare, when not writing letters or poetry Apollinaire tried his hand at drawing and colour. He does not always show impeccable skill, but he does have a definite sense of humour - something he shares with the portrait Picasso did of him in 1914 in a pastiche of traditional popular prints. It may be possible to recognise the odd trace here and there of Apollinaire's artistic friendships, if only in his parody of Matisse's Moorish scenes.