A whirling merry-go-round carrying men and women, soldiers and civilians goes round and around. With their mouths wide open they should be laughing but their expressions are frozen into chilling grimaces as if they’re screaming in terror. It’s a work by Mark Gertler who painted it in 1916 at the height of the First World War. He was inspired by a fairground on Hampstead Heath where attractions were put on for veterans returning from the Front. Gertler’s friend the writer D.H.Lawrence described the fair which attracted: “myriads of wounded, in their bright blue uniforms and red scarves, and bands, and swing boats”. Gertler was a pacifist and his painting is a comment on the unstoppable madness of war. It made a strong impact when first exhibited in 1917. DH Lawrence wrote to Gertler that: "Your terrible and beautiful picture is great and true, but horrible and terrifying." It was also described by the writer, Bloomsbury Group member and conscientious objector Lytton Strachey: "I felt that if I were to look at it for any length of time, I should be taken away suffering from ghastly shell shock… as for liking it, one might as well think of liking a machine gun." Gertler was just twenty five when he painted the ‘Merry-Go-Round’ and it was with this painting that he made his name.