Not many good and pretty things come out of war, but occasionally something does. This story from Listverse is one such instance.
Who Was the Artist JM?
In a time before photojournalism was widespread, soldiers’ artwork was one of the only true depictions of life on the front line. Recently, professors at the University of Victoria in Canada found an incredible book of World War I sketches—and they have no idea who created them.
Aside from his amazing talent, little is known about the mysterious artist. The work is on the stationery of the Royal Regiment of Artillery and signed with the initials “J.M.” The artist was probably based in France and/or Belgium between 1917 and 1918. Some of the art is inscribed to his daughter, Adele. He survived the war, as one of the pieces is dated 1920.
There are two books of sketches, done in pen and ink as well as in watercolor. They’re a breathtakingly beautiful look at not only war, but into the mind of a soul trapped in the middle of it. Devils and skeletons dance around a king wearing a crown, terrified horses flee from dropping bombs and die from gas poured into the trenches. He illustrates towns destroyed by conflict—the eerie, peaceful images of graves, exhausted nurses, and smoking rubble.
The university is still hopeful that they’re going to find the mysterious, talented artist who created this very, very personal look into the horrors of war.
One can only hope that the artist lived long enough to produce many more pictures, maybe some with other inspirations than the bleak and dreary backdrop of war.
Coffee in the kitchen again this morning. Cold and rainy out on the patio.