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The war artist, June 1944 in Normandy

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.

Anthony Gross

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.

Jig Beach looking towards Le Hamel, 7th June 1944, by Anthony Gross


151 Brigade Rear Headquarters in the Chateau De Briqueville, Gueron, Normandy 10th June 1944


Dli Main Hq at Damigny, 11th June 1944


Jerusalem Cross Roads, 13th June 1944


The Fall of Cherbourg – the quayside and the Fort du Roule. 28th June 1944


Observation Post on Mount Pincon – the Gunners are directing fire on to an enemy strong point in the village of St Pierre, 10th August 1944


6 Battalion, Green Howards, Hq Wireless Section in the Bocage, with Private W Wright, ‘eisenhower’ the Rabbit, Corporal T Murray and Sergeant L Smith


Carrier Platoon of 7 Battalion, Green Howards, near Longraye, Normandy, with Sergeant M W pinkley, Lieutenant L W Hardbottle and Captain W Murray


The 50th (Northumbrian) Division, 1944- Rear Hq in the Grounds of the Chateau of St Andre, Normandy, with Lieutenant-Colonel T S Black ; Major W H L Urton, MBE ; Lieutenant-Colonel R G Gibb, OBE ; Lieutenant-Colonel G W Fenton, MB


This artist captured D-Day in stunning watercolours‘ article by Matt Brosnan, Imperial War Museum (with images).

Anthony Gross at the Tate.


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