‘Paths of Glory’, 1917 by CRW Nevinson (1878-1958), Imperial War Museum, 61cm x 46cm, oil on canvas
In the casualty-heavy battlegrounds of World War One, bodies were frequently left unattended and unburied. In one of Nevinson’s most famous paintings, we see the bodies of two dead British soldiers. The painting was officially censored but still exhibited by the artist during the war. The title is a quote from ‘Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard ‘ by Thomas Gray. The so-called ‘Paths of Glory’ have led these soldiers to death in a wasteland, imprisoned by barbed wire. Faces down, like the child, they are unrecognisable, slowly decomposing into the landscape.