5th February to the 23rd June at Royal Engineers Museum
The Sapper as Artist showcases some of the thousands of rarely-seen paintings, drawings and sketches in the Museum’s archive. As surveyors and map makers, Royal Engineers were taught military sketching and the pieces on display show not only the exceptional skill and training but also the imagination and passion that took the artwork beyond the realms of a simple military exercise.
The exhibition is a chance to show just a handful of the thousands of paintings, drawings and sketches held within the Museum that were created by the soldiers who lived and fought in the events pictured.
It starts with the surveying of the landscape and defences by Sappers as they record their surroundings for the advancement of the Army. These landscapes flow into ‘downtime and tourism’, a series of stunning panoramas and sketches by all ranks, illustrating how the technical training was translated into personal mementos of soldiers’ postings.
Some of these landscapes were created during times of peace, and others during war; these record the stress of war, and how a soldier could use his skills to provide an outlet for the horrors he had seen. Finally there is humour in the art – portraits and cartoons demonstrate the camaraderie of the soldier, and record daily life and events.
Included in standard admission prices.