Roberts Gallery Blog
Roberts Gallery Blog

Words from the Collector

In my quest for Barrauds, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak with family members both in Kingston Ontario, and in England whose grandfather or great grandfather had participated in the First World War.

I was able to purchase ‘The Great Square’ drawing from a gallery in England some time ago and was told that on the back side is another drawing of women with purses and wearing hats and skirts. Upon receiving the drawing, I quickly realized that it was the preparatory sketch for the oil painting, “The Stretcher- Bearer Party” that is currently in the collection of the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa

The search for Barrauds was a great education onto itself. His war etchings are difficult to find as many are in private collections, institutions, galleries and museums around the world.

My hope is that you will appreciate his draughtsmanship skills as much as I enjoyed the process of collecting them.  One writer wrote, “the inevitable destruction of these locations is as carefully rendered as the original idyllic settings. It is hard to picture these romantic scenes coming from a soldier living in the trenches, yet his vision, despite his surroundings, was a graceful one.”

Barraud retired from service at the end of August 1919. He died in England in 1965, but his artwork continues to offer us a rare but permanent record of the life and death of villages along the frontline.

I would like to thank the entire staff at Roberts Gallery for undertaking this Centenary Exhibition of Canadian etchings and for highlighting the significant contributions that Cyril H. Barraud’s artwork has made to the Canadian art establishment.