Each of the lithographic prints, on card stock measuring 70cm x 47cm, seem to depict a military inspired images/campaigns, save one, of different time periods, evoking a variety of emotional responses, mostly empathy, when I looked at them. What struck me as odd, initially, was the typed inscription along the top, Holly Leaves, and a date. Guess what happened? I researched.
The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News shared its offices and writers with the London Illustrated News, but was able to position itself as the "country gentleman's illustrated paper, focusing initially on equine sports (horse racing, polo, equestrian, hunting), attributing its success in finding favour with the sporting elite that was fostered through a public school* and university system. Shortly adding other public school sports; rugby, cricket, rowing, tennis and billiards. (*note to NA reader English public school system = fee paying private schools)
These news magazines through the 1930s, held a tradition of using graphic illustrations and often referenced popular subjects of the time for the Empire, especially colonial or foreign military campaigns. The Great War effected the ISDN in an interesting way, and although the magazine continued to focus on issues that the sporting fan would find interesting, it was war, and gone were the actors that graced its front cover, "replaced with stories that reflected hunting in wartime, the commandeering of horses, breaking in mules or the work of the Royal Veterinary Corps. The Officers’ Training Corps of the country’s public schools and universities were featured as were battalions made up from sportsmen.
The ISDN also took an interest in how women were helping the war effort and reflects their changing roles, with a particular focus on jobs in the countryside, such as the Women’s Land Army or the work of the Army Remount Service."
Discovering this information about the weekly news magazines, and that the lithographs that I was holding in my hands came from a member of the Great Eight, the name given to the most popular news magazines of the day. I still needed more information about the imagery I was looking at.
|Faithful Unto Death|
|Where He Fell|
The naval image, Faithful Unto Death is an image used by Holly Leaves in the 1916 edition. Faithful Unto Death is a painting done by W. Hatherell R.I. (1855 to 1928). An illustration artist, Hatherell's work appears in several editions of Holly Leaves. Where He Fell, is another example of Hatherell's work (1919 edition of Holly Leaves), providing the imagery that the ISDN was most famed for publishing, using the work of an artist, who is also exhibited at the Tate, but is often referenced to as an artist of the literary and sentimental genre, in capturing the minds and hearts of the Empire during the First World War.
Throughout the 1920s, ISDN continued to use lithographs of war-themed imagery in its Holly Leaves publications, but as the 1920s moved on, photographs began to replace the lithograph. The 1925 Holly Leaves featured Edouard Detaille's (1848 to 1912) Le Reve, or since the Illustrated Sports and Dramatic News is a British publication, retitled The Dream. The imagery depicts soldiers asleep dreaming of glory, the past glories dressed in republic and empire uniforms, that haunt their sleep found in the imagery of the clouds. Detaille was a French academic painter, medal of honour recipient and military artist. He is often regarded as the semi official artist of the French Army, and he was entrusted with this title, because of the detail he captured in his work. In this piece, reference the line of rifle beams, parallel to the sleeping soldiers.
As I have looked at these images over and over again associating them with the era and atmosphere of the carnage and loss of a generation with the first world war, it almost seems fitting that military inspired art work is used to convey emotion in a pop culture piece, especially when it was contrasted with whatever society sport it was illustrating. Unfortunately, I do not have the written portion of Holly Leaves available at Parkwood to compare and contrast what specifically the images are being used to illustrate and illuminate, but it is a curious collection to come upon.
|Last of the Garrison|