David Bomberg Study for ‘Sappers at Work: A Canadian Tunnelling Company, Hill 60, St Eloi’ c.1918–9

Artwork details

Artist
David Bomberg 1890–1957
Title
Study for ‘Sappers at Work: A Canadian Tunnelling Company, Hill 60, St Eloi’
Date c.1918–9
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 3042 x 2438 mm
frame: 2513 x 3113 x 75 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1959
Reference
T00319
Not on display

Display caption

Bomberg’s painting commemorates an incident in the First World War, in which a company of Canadian soldiers dug tunnels under the German trenches to lay explosives. The operation was in preparation for a surprise assault on the enemy defences at Ypres. This work was a preliminary study for a painting commissioned by the Canadian Government for a War Memorial exhibition. It was criticised at the time as a ‘Futurist abortion’, although Bomberg had compromised the radical abstraction of his earlier Vorticist work for a more representational style.

July 2007

About this artwork