Coquelicot Art of the First World War
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Gino Severini, The Hospital-Train, 1915, oil on canvas, 117 x 90 cm, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

© SESAM, Paris, 1998.


76 - Gino Severini

After the field ambulances and the first aid posts, the wounded were evacuated to the rear in specially designed trains to hospitals where they could be cared for. This theme appeared very early on in the dailies, with photographs and drawings of the halts in stations where volunteer nurses gave the patients something to drink and dressed their wounds. From these illustrations, Severini kept just the image of the nurse dressed in white, composing a synthesis of plastic elements, railway signals, train smoke, stations passed through and red cross flags. In this way he applies the Futurist method of depicting the speed and the topicality of the war although there are only traces of the latter here.