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This print shows the only two houses in the French town of Arras not hit by shells or bombs during the first world war. When it was illustrated in British Artists at the Front 1 1918, a brief commentary noted that 'the rest of Arras after the War will have to be built again’.

One of the greatest English war poets, Isaac Rosenberg, was killed in a battle near Arras. Like Blake he was also an artist. One of his last poems, sharing an apocalyptic vision of the kind Blake had, was called The Destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian Hordes.

December 2004