Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stone Lion

While on the subject of World War One, given that the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day was last Tuesday, the 11th of November, just one more note for now, at another site north of Compiegne there is a large underground stone quarry cave complex where troops sheltered during the war. Many such places were decorated with sculpted graffiti of various sorts, given that troops waiting to be ordered into battle sometimes had time to kill during which sleep may not have been easy. This lion is one such example, slightly the worse for 90 years of wear and tear. There are two excellent books I know of that show more of this incredible art form; one by JS Cartier called "Les Traces de la Grande Guerre", and the second by Michel Boittiaux and Herve Vatel titled "Le Graffiti des Tranchées", so if you are curious, by all means track them down, both are full of high quality photographs of a poignant subject. Apparently there were many talented artists who went to war, god only knows how many of them survived.

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