Coquelicot Art of the First World War
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George Clausen, In The Gun Foundry at Woolwich Arsenal, oil on canvas, 182 x 317 cm, Imperial War Museum, London.

© Imperial War Museum.

Total war

64 - George Clausen

Like Lavery, Clausen (1852-1944) belonged to the generation of British painters at the halfway point between Realism and a toned-down kind of Impressionism that falls short of doing away altogether with form. In this work, these two requirements prove a difficult combination. Whilst Clausen details the machinery, the incandescent tubes and industrial architecture, he seems even more interested in the play of sunlight through the windows, the oblique rays and the gradations of light, taking away much of the historical value of the painting in the process.