'Hell', Georges Leroux

'Hell', Georges Leroux

L'Enfer (Hell), Georges Leroux, 1921.

Georges Leroux served in the French Army during the First World War and saw action on the Western Front. The perspective he offers of the modern industrialised battlefield in L'Enfer is clearly that experienced by the ordinary French infantryman. It is a soldier's view of the grotesque and distorted landscape, amidst shattered tree-stumps, sulfurous flames and choking smoke, desperately clinging to existence in a filthy, brimming shell hole.

The imagery, which is painstakingly detailed, was possibly inspired by the realities of front-line experience during the 1916 battles in defence of Verdun. Between February and December 1916 it has been estimated that the French Army lost nearly half a million men defending Verdun and its outlying fortresses from repeated German attacks. Both German and French forces were bled white in ferocious fighting which involved some of the heaviest and prolonged artillery bombardments of the war.

Community contributions

No comments have been posted about 'Hell', Georges Leroux

What do you know?