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As a Futurist, Nevinson initially celebrated and embraced the violence and mechanised speed of the modern age. But his experience as an ambulance driver in the First World War changed his view.In his paintings of the trenches, the soldiers are reduced to a series of angular planes and grey colouring. They appear almost like machines themselves, losing their individuality, even their humanity, as they seem to fuse with the machine gun which gives this painting its title.

July 2007