New Zealanders at Ypres, 1918

New Zealanders at Ypres, 1918

Nugent Welch, NZ Transport passing through Ypres after capture by NZ Division, October 1918 

Nugent Welch was New Zealand’s first official war artist, appointed in April 1918. A professional artist before the war, his atmospheric landscapes had a distinctive sort of lighting effect, dubbed a ’Nugent Welch kind of day‘. 

There are only 32 of Welch’s works in the New Zealand’s National Collection of War Art at Archives New Zealand, including two oil paintings finished on his return to Wellington. As a soldier, Welch was more engaged in the fighting than the politics of war, but most of his desolate, shell-ridden landscapes illustrate the devastating impact of war on the landscape.

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