Arthur Streeton was appointed an official war artist by the Commonwealth Government of Australia in May 1918. He arrived in France shortly after his appointment and was sent to a training school at Boulogne where he was taught how to use a gas mask.
Streeton was employed to produce at least 25 drawings and watercolours, and one large painting of a battle scene or other Australian Imperial Force involvement. In just over six months he was prolific, producing numerous drawings and watercolour studies on site, and completed works in his studio in London.
This picture depicts troops marching in the centre of Boulogne. Although many of Streeton’s war paintings concentrated on the landscape, this picture represents the machinery of war, both human and mechanical.
oil on canvas
91.8 x 153.0 cm board; 133.7 x 196.1 x 12.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, brown oil "A STREETON/ 1918 -".
Gift of the artist 1926
Where the work was made
Shown in 7 exhibitions
With the Australian's on the Somme: Pictures by Lt. Arthur Streeton, Official Artist Atached to the Second Division, Alpine Club Gallery, London, 30 Jun 1919–Unknown
Mr Streeton's Pictures, Victorian Artists Society, Melbourne, 16 Mar 1920–Unknown
Final Exhibition of Arthur Streeton's Pictures, Vickery's Galleries, Sydney, 10 May 1920–Unknown
An Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Arthur Streeton, Joshua Yeldham, Bayview, 14 Jul 1926–Unknown
Arthur Streeton memorial exhibition:
- National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Melbourne 05 Sep 1944–07 Oct 1944
- National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 09 Nov 1944–10 Dec 1944
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 12 Apr 1945–20 May 1945
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 08 Dec 1995–12 Feb 1996
- Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 01 Mar 1996–14 Apr 1996
- Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth 01 May 1996–16 Jun 1996
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 08 Jul 1996–25 Aug 1996
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 11 Oct 1996–24 Nov 1996
Follow the Flag: Australian artists at war 1914-1945, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne, 24 Apr 2015–16 Aug 2015
Referenced in 12 publications
Robert Croll and Lionel Lindsay, Arthur Streeton memorial exhibition, Adelaide, 1944. cat.no. 6
Robert Hughes, The art of Australia, 'The Heidelberg school 1885-96', pg. 53-73, Melbourne, 1970, 65.
Lionel Lindsay, Streeton memorial exhibition souvenir catalogue, Sydney, 1945. cat.no. 34
William Moore, The story of Australian art from the earliest known art of the continent to the art of today (Vol. 2), 'War', pg. 45-70, Sydney, 1934, 69.
John Olsen, Art and Australia [series 3, vol. 1, no. 3], 'Sir Arthur Streeton', pg. 161-165, Sydney, Nov 1963, 164 (illus.), 165.
G.F.H. Schuler (Editor), Age, Melbourne, 14 Jul 1926, 13.
Geoffrey Smith, Arthur Streeton, 1867-1943, ''The centre of the Empire' Overseas 1897-1920', pg. 131-160, South Yarra, 1995, 156, 157 (colour illus.). cat.no. 67
Arthur Streeton, The Arthur Streeton catalogue, Melbourne, 1935, 132. cat.no. 117
Sydney Ure Smith, Bertram Stevens and Charles Lloyd Jones (Editors), The art of Arthur Streeton, Sydney, 1919, illus.. plate no. LVI
Editor Unknown (Editor), Argus, Melbourne, 14 Jul 1926, 17.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Herald, Melbourne, 14 Jul 1926, 8.
Author Unknown, Catalogue of the final exhibition of Arthur Streeton's pictures, Sydney, 1920. cat.no. 35