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Henry Tonks is perhaps better-known for being the drawing master at the Slade School of Art and teacher to the likes of Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer and CRW Nevinson. He also was a surgeon and during the First World War served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. Therefore, Tonks was an apt choice for a commission from the British War Memorials Committee to depict an advanced medical dressing station. The painting captures a scene amid a German offensive in 1918, within which Tonks makes full use of his medical expertise to showcase a wide range of injuries, treatments and field dressings. The finished painting was intended to be hung in a purpose built Hall of Remembrance, to celebrate national ideals of heroism and sacrifice. However, the Hall was never realised after the First World War and Tonks’s painting, along with other commissioned works, were transferred to the Imperial War Museum.

Details

  • Title: An Advanced Dressing Station in France, 1918
  • Creator: Tonks, Henry
  • Date Created: 1918
  • Location: France
  • Physical Dimensions: w2184 x h1828 mm (unframed)
  • Provenance: © IWM (Art.IWM ART 1922)
  • Type: painting
  • External Link: Imperial War Museum website
  • Medium: oil

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