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The Armistice and the Aftermath (Hardback)

The Story in Art

Colour Books Military WWI

By John Fairley
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 100
ISBN: 9781526721181
Published: 17th October 2018



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Armistice Day in 1918 was arguably the most joyous day of the 20th century. As the guns fell silent, crowds celebrated across the Western world.

The foremost artists of all nations including Pierre Bonnard in Paris and Gilbert Beal in New York, were inspired to convey the emotions of this historic moment. The Irish painter William Orpen was in Amiens.

The tense and difficult process of making the peace ensued. Orpen and Augustus John were assigned as official artists at the Versailles conference. Painters also recorded on canvas the extraordinary closing events of the War, including the surrender of the entire German battle fleet.

One hundred years on, The Armistice and the Aftermath brings together, in one book, a superb collection of the most epic paintings of the era. The result, with informed and perceptive commentary, is a unique record of those momentous days which not only re-drew the world map but, more ominously, shaped the future of the 20th Century.

The Armistice and the Aftermath which showcases the most breathtaking paintings of the era, capturing moments that changed the world forever. Each painting is given a full page, followed by an insightful commentary about the event each piece of art is a response to. It really is a beautiful record of the artistic responses to the closing moments of one of the most astonishingly brutal conflicts the world had seen up until that point.

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The author provides a lively, insightful commentary on the end of the War against a backdrop of striking full colour images in various mediums; pen and wash, oil, watercolour and photographs, with notes on the artists. We learn, for example, that Augustus John, recruited by Lord Beaverbrook as Canada’s official war artist, commented that the Peace talks at Versailles “held no pictorial possibilities” and therefore his main artistic endeavours during the Conference were focused on the ladies recruited to entertain the guests! Works by most of the well known artists of the day; Nash, Orpen, Maxwell, Muirhead Bone and Nevinson are included. A beautifully illustrated coffee table style book which will appeal to art lovers.

Military Historical Society

A beautiful collection. 8/10

The Great War magazine, January 2019

As featured by

Antiques Diary, November/December 2018

As the focus of this volume is on art, the works appearing within its pages are likely to be of interest to aficionados of such matters, while Historians and ‘Generalist’ readers with an interest in World War I may also find it of interest. As they portray contemporary military machinery, it is also possible that military modellers might find some of the images useful as reference material.

Keith Rimmer, NZ Crown Mines

Article as featured by

History of War, issue 61

Interview article, 'Malton-based author John Fairley's new book explores how the First World War and the Armistice were depicted through art' as featured by

Yorkshire Post, 8th November 2018 - words by Chris Bond

I am riveted. Absolutely fascinating and captures the spirit of the moment wonderfully, along with the geopolitical impact. The paintings are so evocative - they bring one into the heart of the war, its impact and aftermath at a very human level.

Rose Fenton

As featured in 'Top 5: Pick of the best books'

Yorkshire Post, 21st September 2018

About John Fairley

John Fairley has written numerous books on equestrian art including The Art of the Horse, Racing in Art and Great Racehorses in Art. He was joint author of The Monocled Mutineer, which became a celebrated BBC television series.
A noted documentary and sports television producer, he was Director of Programmes at Yorkshire Television. Born in Liverpool, within sight of the Grand National course, he served as an RNVR officer aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Albion. A scholar of The Queen's College, Oxford, he is married, with three daughters, and lives in the Yorkshire racing town of Malton.

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