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"MEN OF THE SEA - THE STORY OF NAVY COMBAT ART." Narrated by Glenn Ford.
Public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
A war artist depicts some aspect of war through art. The art might be a pictorial record, or it might commemorate how war shapes lives. War artists explore the visual and sensory dimensions of war, often absent in written histories or other accounts of warfare...
Definition and context
A war artist creates a visual account of the impact of war by showing how men and women are waiting, preparing, fighting, suffering, celebrating, or destroyed, as in Vasily Vereshchagin's 1871 painting, The Apotheosis of War.
The works produced by war artists illustrate and record many aspects of war and the individual's experience of war, whether allied or enemy, service or civilian, military or political, social or cultural. The role of the artist and his work is to embrace the causes, course, and consequences of conflict, and has an essentially educational purpose.
Artists record military activities in ways that cameras and the written word cannot. Their art collects and distills the experiences of the men and women who endured it. The artists and their artwork affect how subsequent generations view military conflicts. For example, Australian war artists who grew up between the two world wars were influenced by the artwork which depicted the First World War, and there was a precedent and format for them to follow.
Official war artists have been appointed by governments for information or propaganda purposes and to record events on the battlefield, but there are many other types of war artists. These can include combatants who are artists and choose to record their experiences, non-combatants who are witnesses of war, and prisoners of war who may voluntarily record the conditions or be appointed war artists by senior officers.
In New Zealand, the title of appointed "war artist" changed to "army artist" after the two world wars. In the United States, the term "combat artist" has come to be used to mean the same thing.
Some examples and their background
- William Simpson was an artist-correspondent who sent artwork to London from the front during the Crimean War.
- Alfred Waud was an American civil war pictorial newspaper illustrator.
- Ogata Gekkō and Tsuguharu Foujita created woodblock prints for Japanese publications.
- Ronald Searle recorded life in Japanese POW camps.
- Emmanuel Leutze's 1851 studio painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware is historically incorrect, and Leutze was born decades after the event his painting depicts, but this work has become an icon of popular culture...