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Frampton’s painting depicts a young soldier and his companion kneeling to pray at a wayside shrine before he goes off to war. He wears the uniform of a private in the French infantry. The background of the picture depicts a section of the Breton coastal landscape at Camaret-sur-Mer where the artist had spent some time in 1911. Painted in 1920, the work looks back to a moment of innocent patriotism, but is infused with the subsequent knowledge of the horrific loss of life in the First World War.

October 2013