Eric Kennington

Bayonet Practice


Not on display

Eric Kennington 1888–1960
Chalk and crayon on paper
Support: 749 × 651 mm
Presented by Sir William Rothenstein in memory of Gerard Chowne 1917

Display caption

Kennington served in France and was invalided out of the army in June 1915. He was an official war artist from 1916-19.

This drawing is a study for a lithograph. It was one in a series called Making Soldiers which the Ministry of Information published as part of the war effort in 1917. In practice soldiers charged at straw bags representing enemy soldiers. The act of bayoneting an enemy might perhaps be compared with that of the soldier who pierced Christ’s side when he was on the cross.

Gallery label, December 2004

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Catalogue entry

Inscr. ‘E. Kennington 17’ b.l.
Charcoal on brown paper, 29 1/2×25 5/8 (75×65).
Presented by Sir William Rothenstein 1917.
Coll: Given by the artist to Sir William Rothenstein.

Study for a lithograph, No.13 in the series ‘Making Soldiers’ in The Great War, Britain's Efforts and Ideals, published by the Ministry of Information 1917 and exhibited at the Fine Art Society. The lithograph shows a camp with straw bags in the distance.

Sir William Rothenstein in Men and Memories 1900–1922, 1932, p. 308, mentions how he first saw Kennington's work at the Goupil Gallery in April–May 1916 when ‘The Kensingtons at Laventie’ was exhibited, and bought a drawing. Later he joined Kennington in France as an Official War Artist.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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