Art which inspired Richard Attenborough anti-war film sells in London

In its first major Prints auction since the record sale of Edvard Munch's 'Madonna' for £1,252,000 in July, Bonhams is featuring a dramatic image by the renowned First World War artist, CRW Nevinson.

Nerves of An Army, from 1918, is archetypal Nevinson and influenced the classic anti-war film, Oh What a Lovely War.

It shows four soldiers perched at the top of a telegraph pole, the angles of the men's bodies juxtaposed with the pole's cross struts and the communication lines they are mending.

CRW Nevinson's Nerves of An Army from 1918

So stark is this image that Richard Attenborough used it in his directorial debut film, the classic, Oh What A Lovely War.

"Certain images in my movies have been directly influenced by art," said Attenborough.

"Nevinson's etching of four soldiers up a telegraph pole during the First World War is painstakingly recreated in my first film as a director."  

The piece will auction in London on November 30, estimated at £12,000-18,000.


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