Item 003/78 - Arras

Original Digital object not accessible

Identity area

Reference code

GB 2014 WS-03-PIC-003/78




  • 2019-2020 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 item, 4 canvases

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Archival history

The Arras paintings stem mostly from the landscapes around Vimy Ridge. The remarkable monument on top of the ridge, designed by Walter Seymour Allward, can be seen on the horizon behind the paintings. Most of the studies made in Arras depicted trees, but despite repeated attempts to include them in this painting they had to be removed. The focus of the image, instead, is the ridge itself, drawn from this spot very hurriedly.

Initial work in this location was done when the field had just been ploughed and was devoid of crops - rather different from when the finished paintings returned to the site.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The Unknown Warrior was chosen for Westminster Abbey in 1920, from four unknown warriors who fought for Britain during the First World War, and who died in four different battle areas. In the summer of 2017 the artist spent time in the four locations (the Aisne, the Somme, Arras and Ypres), making studies of the landscapes as they are now. This oil painting is one of a series of four stemming from these visits. This painting has been made across four separate canvases, one for each unknown warrior and each canvas is the same size as a Commonwealth War Grave (2 ft 6 in. in height and 1 ft 3 in. in width).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to collection items is granted to bona-fide researchers, by prior appointment, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including Data Protection.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the item. Copies are supplied in accordance with Westminster School

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Description identifier


Institution identifier

Westminster School Archive

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Level of detail



  • English


  • Latin


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