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Exhibition: ‘War’s Hell!’ The Battle of Mametz Wood in Art

National Museum Cardiff
30 April–4 September 2016
Cost Free
Suitability All
painting of hospital ward with soldiers

Margaret Lindsay Williams, Care of Wounded Soliders © Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

David Jones (1895-1974) Frontispiece for 'In Parenthesis'

David Jones (1895-1974)
Frontispiece for 'In Parenthesis' 1937
pencil, watercolour and ink on paper
Purchased from Anthony D'Offay Gallery, 1975
Reproduced with permission of the Estate of David Jones

Cymru'n Cofio logo

2016 marks the centenary of the Battle of Mametz Wood, one of the most significant and bloody battles fought by Welsh soldiers during the First World War.

Now embedded in the Welsh national identity, this battle has come to represent the bravery and sacrifice of Welsh troops in World War One. This heroic ideal was captured by the artist Christopher Williams in his painting The Welsh Division at the Battle of Mametz Wood, commissioned by David Lloyd George in 1916.

ww1 battle at Mametz, showing the Welsh Division in combat

Christopher Williams (1873-1934), The Welsh Division at Mametz Wood, 1916 © National Museum of Wales

The fierce fighting that took place inspired some artists and poets who were serving at Mametz such as Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves, David Jones and Llewelyn Wyn Griffith to share their experiences with the world. This exhibition will explore the art, poetry and writing by those who witnessed the battle first-hand and others who have since responded to it. It will also show how the battle continues to resonate with people today. 

2016 also sees the Welsh National Opera celebrate 70 years with a world première of In Parenthesis, British composer Iain Bell’s adaptation of the epic poem by Welsh poet, writer and artist David Jones. Discover more about In Parenthesis and the epic poem on which it is based at inparenthesis.org.uk

 Events supporting this exhibition:


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