T00249 STUDY FOR RETURNING TO THE TRENCHES 1914–15
Charcoal and crayon, 5 3/4×8 1/8 (14·5×20·5).
Purchased from the Leicester Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1959.
Coll: Mrs Kathleen Nevinson; the Leicester Galleries.
Exh: Leicester Galleries, September–October 1916 (35).
Lit: Mervyn Levy, ‘C.R.W. Nevinson, Undertones of Peace’ in Studio, CLXII, 1961, p.51, repr. p.50.
Drawn on the back of part of a larger sketch for the same painting, ‘Returning to the Trenches’, which was exhibited with the London Group, March 1915 (89) and is now in the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (repr. Konody, 1917, pl.59). The painting had already been reproduced in the Daily Express for 25 February 1915 with a report of an interview with Nevinson: ‘I have tried to express the emotion produced by the apparent ugliness and dullness of modern warfare. Our Futurist technique is the only possible medium to express the crudeness, violence, and brutality of the emotions seen and felt on the present battlefields of Europe.... Modern art needs not beauty, or restraint, but vitality.’
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II