The Sunken Road (1919) by F. H. Varley

The Sunken Road - F. H. Varley - 1919

Artwork Information

TitleThe Sunken Road
ArtistF. H. Varley
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions132.4 x 162.8 cm (52 1/8 x 64 1/8 in.)
Art MovementArt Nouveau
Current LocationCanadian War Museum, Ottawa
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About The Sunken Road

F. H. Varley’s “The Sunken Road” is one of the most renowned paintings by the artist who served as an official war artist in England and France during 1918-20. The painting, created in 1919, depicts dead members of a German gun crew, lying on a muddy road surrounded by destroyed equipment.

Considered one of his most famous works, the painting raises different interpretations among critics who view the distant rainbow as a symbol of hope or an ironic comment on war. Varley believed that people in Canada needed to see the horrors of war firsthand to appreciate its true impact.

“The Sunken Road” is part of the Canadian War Museum collection, which showcases unique and diverse artifacts that emphasize Canadian participation in global conflicts from pre-Confederation times to present-day peacekeeping missions worldwide. The museum provides educational resources for students and researchers interested in exploring Canadian military history.

It’s essential to acknowledge artwork like “The Sunken Road,” which depicts life-altering experiences during global conflicts while bringing attention to how art reflects societal impact and aid collective memory. This not only educates future generations but strengthens remembrance and understanding moments that shape our society today.

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