Coquelicot Art of the First World War
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Max Edler von Poosch, Kampfstaffel D3, über der Brenta-Gruppe (Squadron over the Brenta), 1917, 100 x 120 cm, Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna.

© Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Wien.

Total war

57 - Max Edler von Poosch

This painting can be seen as the archetype of aviation painting as it proliferated all over Europe. Edler von Poosch (1872-1968) was an Austrian and illustrated this episode in which three planes are flying over the Alps. It would suffice to change the crosses for roundels and the mountain scene for the Champagne region or Flanders to turn it into a German or French painting. The artist strives to render two things - accurate material detail and the sensation of height. Whilst he succeeds in overcoming the second problem, he is rather over-attentive to detail, since the guy cables between the biplane's two wings are visible as is the structure of the tail-plane which would in fact have been invisible at such a speed. This is of little importance, however, inasmuch as the painting works as a documentary depiction.