High Victorian battle painting II
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The large number of battle paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy during the period 1874-1914 makes it impossible to account here for the genesis of more than a few. This chapter examines the paintings inspired by the Zulu war of 1879-1880. The Zulu war was regarded as the most important of the colonial wars up to the Sudan campaign in 1883-1884. Frederick Villiers exhibited two battle paintings at the Royal Academy, in 1882 and 1883, so far as is known his only excursions into academic art, both now lost. The first was based on the Afghan war of 1878-1880, which he had covered for The Graphic. The second seems, however, to have been a battle scene, Fighting Arabi with his own Weapons: Tel-el-Kebir. Villiers became a well known personality in the late Victorian newspaper industry. Late Victorian battle painters manipulated a number of stock characters.

Images of the army

The military in British art, 1815-1914


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