Frederick Horsman Varley produced a number of painitings that depict simple, disturbing truths about war. From top to bottom: The Sunken Road, For What? and Gas Chamber at Seaford.
The war art of F.H. Varley is economical. It pulls no punches; neither does it glamorize. The thick oil sculpts bodies and land into one compelling image of colour and texture; we can’t really see where the land begins or the death ends. He presents simple, disturbing truths.
Frederick Horsman Varley was born in Sheffield, England, in 1881. He studied art in Sheffield, then in Antwerp, Belgium, at the Académie royale des beaux arts, and immigrated to Toronto in 1912. In January 1918, he was appointed an official war artist, given an honorary commission and sent to France to paint.
He was present duri...