The Western Front by Muirhead Bone
Both Volumes 1 & 2 of The Western Front containing approximately 200 prints by Muirhead Bone
"During the First World War, Charles Masterman, head of the British War Propaganda Bureau, acting on the advice of William Rothenstein, appointed Bone as the first official British war artist in May 1916. Bone had lobbied hard for the establishment of an Official War Artists scheme and in June 1916 he was sent to France with an honorary rank and a salary of £500. Although thirty-eight years old at the outbreak of war, Bone was spared from certain enlistment by his appointment. Bone's small, black and white drawings, and their realistic intensity, reproduced well in the government-funded publications of the day. Where some artists might have demurred at the challenge of drawing ocean liners in a drydock or tens of thousands of shells in a munitions factory, Bone delighted in them; he was rarely intimidated by complex subjects and whatever the challenge those who commissioned his work could always be sure that out of superficial chaos there emerged a beautiful and ordered design.
Commissioned as an honorary second lieutenant, Bone served as a war artist with the Allied forces on the Western Front and also with the Royal Navy for a time. He arrived in France on 16 August 1916, during the Battle of the Somme and produced 150 drawings of the war before returning to England in October 1916. Over the next few months Bone returned to his earlier subject matter, producing six lithographs of shipyards on the Clyde for the War Propaganda Bureau's Britain's Efforts and Ideals portfolio of images which were exhibited in Britain and abroad and were also sold as prints to raise money for the war effort. He visited France again in 1917 where he took particular interest depicting architectural ruins. Two volumes of Bone's wartime drawings were published during the war, The Western Front and With the Grand Fleet. He was an active member of the British War Memorials Committee and helped select which artists received commissions from the Committee."
In addition to the drawings by Muirhead Bone the books include explanatory text by C E Montague and an introduction to Volume 1 by Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig.
The books have bumped corners and top and bottom of spine as shown in photos but the bindings are sound and the end papers intact. The pages within the books, including those with the prints, are in very good condition without spotting or foxing.
An excellent piece of First World War military history with copious illustrations.
Large format at 31 x 24 x 3cm