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The Reconstruction of Belgium

CLAUSEN, George (1852 - 1944)

The Reconstruction of Belgium - George Clausen
The Reconstruction of Belgium - George Clausen

Date: 1917

Media: lithograph on paper

Acquired: 1919; Presented by Ministry of Information

Accession Number: NMW A 13154

Collection: The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals

The ruins are being restored, new structures are rising.  The words carved on the monument indicate the strength (fort) of Belgium.  The crowd signify unity and positivity.   

Clausen accompanied this image with text that stressed the continuity of humanity, ‘Old Mother Earth ‘carrying on’ … even while we are doing our best to make it hideous’.  He stated, ‘I believe that when the war is over, the horrors of it will fade from men’s minds like a bad dream; and that they will instinctively…resume peaceful activities.’ 

Clausen trained at the South Kensington art schools.  He was a founding member of the New English Art Club and was elected Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy in 1904.  He was a well-respected artists and was appointed an official war artist in 1917.

This work forms part of the portfolio The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals, a series of 66 lithographic prints commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1917. The series provide a broad and fascinating representation of Britain’s war objectives, military activities and effort on the Home Front.

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