ID 166
Title The Art of Remembrance
Broadcast 2012-11-11 00:00:00
Network Radio 4
Presenter Mark Whitaker
Producer Mike Hally
Precis Mark Whitaker looks at some of the more unusual ways that artists remembered the Great War, through the works of an painter, an architect, a film-maker, a sculptor and a poet
Duration 14
Txtime 1899-12-30 11:45:00
Description The work of war poets such as Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen is well known, as is music such as Vaughan Williams Pastoral Symphony but artists responded in many more ways to the desire to remember the fallen of the Great War. Mark Whitaker looks at some particularly striking and lesser known examples of these responses, assisted throughout by the leading expert on Remembrance, Professor Jay Winter. Recorded largely on location in the UK, France, Belgium and Germany, Whitaker records his impressions of works by a painter, an architect, a film-maker, a sculptor and a poet.

In France he sees the extraordinary Thiepval Memorial on the Somme, created by Edwin Lutyens to commemorate the 70,000 British and Empire soldiers who died in the area and have no known grave. In Belgium the sculpture "Grieving Parents" by K├Ąthe Kollwitz, depicting her and her husband, kneeling despairingly in front of their son Peter's grave, symbolising the loss felt by a generation of German parents. In Germany the paintings of Otto Dix in Stuttgart, in particular "the match-seller" showing the fate of a severely disabled veteran scraping a living on the street, ignored by the affluent passers-by.

The film "J'Accuse" shows a great film-maker's response in the extraordinary scene where the war-dead rise from their graves and march on a nearby town to confront the villagers whose behaviour is unworthy of their sacrifice. Finally Whitaker looks at the controversial French non-combatant Maurice Barres who wrote romantically of dead soldiers rising up in the trenches to help their besieged comrades, bringing a stinging rebuke from combat veteran and poet Marc de Larreguy de Civrieux for this rosy view of trench warfare.
SqDogNumber 53
Caption1 Edwin Lutyens extraordinary 'Memorial to the Missing of the Somme'
Caption2 The emptiness at the centre of the Thiepval Memorial
Caption3 Collection of wreaths at the top of the stairs in the centre of the Memorial
Caption4 Kathe Kollwitz sculpture 'Grieving Parents' in the German military cemetary near Vladslo, Belgium
Caption5 Kathe Kollwitz sculpture seen from behind, looking over the gravestones