Chateau de Sully, near Bayeux, June 1944 by Anthony Gross
Although photographs remember a moment, an event, war artists see the emotion in a war; how people live within it, the minutiae of daily life as they prepare, wait, fight, suffer and celebrate. Faced with the vastness of war, war artists see the ‘ordinary’ men and women within it.
Artist Anthony Gross landed on Gold Beech at 2pm on D-Day, 6 June 1944 with the 50th (Northumbrian) Division.
He waded to shore holding paper and paints above his head and spent his first night in a slit trench on the beach. Moving inland, Anthony travelled through the ‘Bocage’, saw Cherbourg, the devastation of Bayeux and Caen, before following the Allied armies into Paris.
Anthony Gross’ paintings record a well known time, but with the unique view of the artist. His paintings of soldiers somehow show in their faces what they have seen in that terrible war.
Anthony Gross’ watercolours are held by the Tate Gallery and the Imperial War Museum in London. Here are a few paintings from his journey across Normandy.
‘This artist captured D-Day in stunning watercolours‘ article by Matt Brosnan, Imperial War Museum (with images).
Anthony Gross at the Tate.