World War I Battlefield at Night

World War I Battlefield at Night



“GUNNER” F. J. MEARS (c. 1890-1929)

World War I Battlefield at Night

Signed upside down l.r.: Gnr F J Mears BEF Black ink and watercolour wash

16.5 by 24 cm., 6 by 9 in. (frame size 35 by 41.5 cm., 13 by 16 in.)

Little is known of Mears’ early life. During the Great War he served at the Somme and in the Salient. His unusual and naïve paintings showed the war from the soldier’s point of view ”“ the darkness, the remains of blasted trees and the trudging weary figures of soldiers isolated in the horrific landscape lit only by the fire of war. The paintings are signed upside-down ”“ his comment on the world itself being turned upside-down by the horrors of war. Although he may have been commissioned in an official capacity by the British Expeditionary Force his work does not seem to have been fully discovered until May 1920 when thirty of his pictures were exhibited in a Bond Street gallery. Their successful sale saved him from poverty. He died in 1929.


Height 16.5 cm / 6 "
Width 24 cm / 9 12"
Framed height 35 cm / 14"
Framed width 41.5 cm / 16 12"