WWI German Trench Art Drawings

  • These one-of-a-kind drawings were created by German and Austro-Hungarian soldiers during WWI
  • The 78 postcard-sized drawings are accompanied by notes from the soldiers who composed them
  • They were part of campaign by the newspaper Kronen Zeitung in support of soldiers at the front
  • Today they represent a microcosm of one of the most harrowing eras of world history
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-1011

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This remarkable collection of detailed drawings were created by individual German and Austro-Hungarian soldiers on the battlefields during World War I. The 78 postcard-sized drawings are accompanied by captions and notes from the soldiers who composed them, offering remarkable insight into the daily lives, hopes and fears of the men at the front.

Created over a three-year period, the historic drawings were part of a campaign by the Austro-Hungarian newspaper Kronen Zeitung (meaning "Crown Newspaper"), which sought to publish the works and words of German soldiers in the midst of the conflict. The newspaper sent out thousands of blank cards to German and Austro-Hungarian soldiers, with directions to illustrate them however they wished and include some caption or note with each. The best examples were then selected for publication. Out of the thousands of cards Kronen received, only 1,183 were the chosen finalists, of which these 78 are among the very best. 

Each drawing is a diminutive and unique work of art that gives unprecedented insight into the mindset and daily life of the World War I soldier. The reflections run the gamut of emotions – from pride and joviality to melancholy and outright fear. 

The drawings offer a direct connection to the “war to end all wars" and represent an intriguing subset of trench art. A phenomenon that first emerged during the Napoleonic Wars, trench art flourished during World War I, perhaps due to the evolution of trench warfare. While soldiers were expected to spend at least 8-10 days on the front line, there are reports of soldiers being required to stay nearly two months entrenched. 

These postcards are a representation of how these soldiers spent those long hours. They are all also impressive works of art, symbolizing moments of beauty and humanity from the otherwise grisly battlefield. The drawings offered an emotional release for their creators, and today they represent a microcosm of one of the most harrowing eras of world history.

The one-of-a-kind drawings are beautifully presented in a custom leather-bound case and supporting cradle.

14" wide x 12 1/4" deep x 3" high
WWI German Trench Art Drawings
Period: 20th Century
Type: Historical Memorabilia
Depth: 3.5 Inches
Width: 14.0 Inches
Height: 12.25 Inches

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