Coquelicot Art of the First World War
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Oskar Kokoschka, Isonzo-Front (The Front at Isonzo), pastel on paper, 1916, 30.5 x 43 cm, Jenisch Museum, Vevey.

© SESAM, Paris, 1998.

The age of artillery

49 - Oskar Kokoschka

Close up, the details become clearer and the ravages of the artillery can be seen better. After being wounded against the Russians in Galicia and only just saved, Kokoschka (1886-1980) later served against the Italian forces, and produced some views of the front. They are hardly less deserted than Vallotton's panoramas. Trenches pass through the bombed and burned down houses of a village. We can make out the fences and stockades masking the positions from enemy snipers. Nevertheless, after setting out alone to reconnoitre the ruins and to draw close by a church, Kokoschka was very nearly killed and the chapel was completely destroyed by shellfire.