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Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956):
Field Hospital in France, circa 1914
Framed (ref: 6061)
Signed in the plate
Original lithographic poster printed by the Avenue Press
200 x 150 cm.
Lit: Shaw Sparrow, 1919, p194; Marechal, 1987, p151
Ill: Avenue Press, 1916; Vita d’Arte, Tosatto Augusto Casimiro, ‘Frank BrangwynCartellonista di Guerra’, Vol XV, No 104, August 1916; Avenue Press, 1920, p4; Marechal, 1987, p151; Horner, Brangwyn at War, Goldmark, 2014.
Exh: Chicago, 2011
The vehicle in the background might be a horse-drawn or motor ambulance which were used for transporting wounded (at the start of the war the army had only 80 motor vehicles but each infantry division had 5,600 horses for its 18,000 men).
The image must have been popular because the Avenue Press, titling the work Field Hospital in France, also produced 15 lithographic prints on extra quality paper, 96.5x147.5cm (38x58in), printed in black, red and buff, each signed copy selling for 15 guineas in May 1916 (same price in 1920). Poster prints 101.5x152.5cm (40x60in) printed in the same colours cost one guinea each. Lettering sheets for the top and bottom, designed by Brangwyn and limited to 50 sets sold for 5s.
This is the only known surviving example of the poster with the text banners
Although Shaw Sparrow noted that the lithograph borrowed from Brangwyn’s brush drawing and wood engraving methods, and felt this provided a new zest and style for poster art, admitted that otherwise the design left him cold.