08 Apr 1867 - 01 Sep 1943
The Somme Valley that Arthur Streeton toured in 1918 was still raw with the wounds of major battles. One of the places he visited was the town of Villers-Bretonneux, which on 25 April (Anzac Day) 1918 had been recaptured by Australian soldiers at the cost of over 1200 lives.
In 'Villers-Bretonneux', Streeton portrays an eerily quiet moment on the Western Front. It is a broad vista marked by conflict: the earth rent apart by artillery explosions, rows of trenches scored into the countryside and clouds of smoke billowing across the sky. In the distance, figures can be seen bearing stretchers.
Re-capture of Villers-Bretonneux, 24th and 25th April, 1918
Villers Bretonneux on 25 April 1918
oil on canvas, later mounted onto hardboard
63.5 x 100.9 cm board; 101.0 x 140.0 cm frame :
0 - Whole, 61.4 x 99.5 cm, SIGHT DIMENSION
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, black oil "A STREETON/ 1918".
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 3 exhibitions
With the Australians on the Somme: Pictures by Lt. Arthur Streeton, Official Artist attached to the Second Division, Alpine Club Gallery, London, 30 Jun 1919–Unknown
Mad through the darkness: Australian artists and the Great War, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Apr 2015–11 Oct 2015
Arthur Streeton: The art of war, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 15 Dec 2017–29 Apr 2018
Referenced in 8 publications
Robert Croll (Editor), Smike to bulldog: letters from Sir Arthur Streeton to Tom Roberts, Sydney, 1946, 57 (illus.), 98. plate 15
Ann Galbally, Arthur Streeton, Melbourne, 1971, 110.
Ann Galbally, Arthur Streeton, Melbourne, 1969, 66, 84. cat.no. 174
Lionel Lindsay, Streeton memorial exhibition souvenir catalogue, Sydney, 1945. cat.no. 41
Bertram Stevens, Art in Australia [vol. 1, no. 7], 'Streeton's later work', pg. 10-13, Sydney, 1919, 10, 11 (colour illus.), 12.
Arthur Streeton, The Arthur Streeton catalogue, Melbourne, 1935, 128. cat.no. 579
Gerard Vaughan, Anne Gray, Emma Kindred, Mark Whitmore, Anthea Gunn, Emily Wubben and Bridie McGillicudy, Arthur Streeton: the art of war, Canberra, 2017-2018, 47 (colour illus.), 50, 51, 53, 158 (colour illus.), 159, 183. cat.no. 41
Andrew Yip, Look, 'Faraway, so close', Sydney, Mar 2018-Apr 2018, 52-53 (colour illus.).