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J.W.M. Hichberger

to ‘suggest’ the battle, the feelings of the absent human protagonists and their fate through the depiction of their horses. A lengthy discussion of his Bad News from the Front (RA 1887) describes Charlton’s method and is suggestive of how this type of ‘battlepainting was read: This subject was suggested by a

in Images of the army
J.W.M. Hichberger

The period from 1874, the year of the Ashanti expedition, until 1914 saw a dramatic increase in the number of battle paintings displayed at public exhibitions. Statistical analysis of the exhibits at the Royal Adacdemy shows that, even allowing for the general increase in the quantity of pictures, the number of battle pictures tripled the pre–1855 figures. 1 All military subjects, genre as well

in Images of the army
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The military in British art, 1815-1914

In an age when engraving and photography were making artistic images available to a much wider public, artists were able to influence public attitudes more powerfully than ever before. This book examines works of art on military themes in relation to ruling-class ideologies about the army, war and the empire. The first part of the book is devoted to a chronological survey of battle painting, integrated with a study of contemporary military and political history. The chapters link the debate over the status and importance of battle painting to contemporary debates over the role of the army and its function at home and abroad. The second part discusses the intersection of ideologies about the army and military art, but is concerned with an examination of genre representations of soldiers. Another important theme which runs through the book is the relation of English to French military art. During the first eighty years of the period under review France was the cynosure of military artists, the school against which British critics measured their own, and the place from which innovations were imported and modified. In every generation after Waterloo battle painters visited France and often trained there. The book shows that military art, or the 'absence' of it, was one of the ways in which nationalist commentators articulated Britain's moral superiority. The final theme which underlies much of the book is the shifts which took place in the perception of heroes and hero-worship.

Colonial war played a vital part in transforming the reputation of the military and placing it on a standing equal to that of the navy. The book is concerned with the interactive culture of colonial warfare, with the representation of the military in popular media at home, and how these images affected attitudes towards war itself and wider intellectual and institutional forces. It sets out to relate the changing image of the military to these fundamental facts. For the dominant people they were an atavistic form of war, shorn of guilt by Social Darwinian and racial ideas, and rendered less dangerous by the increasing technological gap between Europe and the world. Attempts to justify and understand war were naturally important to dominant people, for the extension of imperial power was seldom a peaceful process. The entertainment value of war in the British imperial experience does seem to have taken new and more intensive forms from roughly the middle of the nineteenth century. Themes such as the delusive seduction of martial music, the sketch of the music hall song, powerful mythic texts of popular imperialism, and heroic myths of empire are discussed extensively. The first important British war correspondent was William Howard Russell (1820-1907) of The Times, in the Crimea. The 1870s saw a dramatic change in the representation of the officer in British battle painting. Up to that point it was the officer's courage, tactical wisdom and social prestige that were put on display.

J.W.M. Hichberger

relevant was undoubtedly more contentious than a more distant figure such as William the Conqueror. 7 No battle paintings or contemporary military subjects were submitted for the cartoon competition. The remarks of Hallam in his Observations of Principles which may regulate the Selection of Paintings in the Palace of Westminster (1844) suggests that the situation of battle painting within the category of

in Images of the army
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J.W.M. Hichberger

battle art in the ‘grand manner’ meet with success. In no sense could topographical battle paintings be described as ‘realistic’, although it might be conceded that such works as Barker’s Charge of the Heavy Brigade , in their obsessive concern with details, did reflect the current trend towards archeological exactitude. Genre representations did predominate numerically over battle paintings at the RA

in Images of the army
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J.W.M. Hichberger

terms of two separate but related issues. The first is the status of battle painting within the hierarchy of academic art; the second is the lack of patronage, either from the state or from individuals. The status of battle painting as a genre was, as we shall see, the subject of some confusion. In France the patronage and encouragement of the emperor Napoleon had elevated battle painting to the exalted

in Images of the army
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J.W.M. Hichberger

beaten off. 5 In Academic art, representations of the rebellion in genre scenes outnumbered battle paintings. 6 This was, in part, because the rebellion had been characterised more by guerrilla fighting than by set-piece battles, but it was also a reflection of the newspapers’ obsession with the individuals caught up in the revolt rather than perceiving it as a political and military struggle. The sense

in Images of the army
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Representations of leadership in late nineteenth-century British battle painting
Paul Usherwood

The 1870s saw a dramatic change in the representation of the officer in British battle painting. Up to that point it was the officer’s courage, tactical wisdom and social prestige that were put on display. Two nineteenth-century battle painting traditions illustrate this well. 1 In the first, the officer is shown as a man of pluck and dash, a man of action, as, for instance, in Louis

in Popular imperialism and the military 1850–1950
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J.W.M. Hichberger

The period 1885–1914 was the most prolific time for the production of battle paintings and other celebrations of the military glory of the empire. Despite the preoccupation of the middle classes with army and empire, it is perhaps not enough to speak of the pictures as merely ‘celebratory’. It was rather a time in which battle paintings showed a redefinition or hardening

in Images of the army