The Great Crater, Athies

Lithographic print of original charcoal drawing, ‘The Great Crater, Athies’, by artist Sir David Muirhead Bone. This proof forms part of a green paper folder of an “edition de luxe” of signed proofs: 10 prints made from the War Drawings of Muirhead Bone. It is likely this drawing was completed behind the front lines whilst Muirhead was travelling around the front during 1916. Although executed in 1916, this print was published in 1918.

The drawing depicts the ‘Great Crater’ at Athies, a village in Northern France. The scene depicts a large area which has been hit by artillery fire, with the circular clearing surrounded by war scarred trees and the ruins of a building in the background.

Muirhead Bone travelled to France on 16 August 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He was the first official British war artist of the First World War producing 150 drawings in six weeks. It is from this series of works which this drawing is most likely to have originated from.

Muirhead Bone (1876-1953) was a Scottish watercolourist and etcher. He was known for his depictions of wartime industrial and architectural settings. He was on the advisory committees for the British War Memorials during the First World War and the War Artists Advisory panel during the Second World War.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Fine Art
Collection Class
lithograph on paper
Common Name
The Great Crater, Athies
Simple Name
Inscription Transcription
Bone; Muirhead Bone; MB
Period Classification
World War I (1914-1918)
Production Town
; London; London
Production Country
; United Kingdom: England; United Kingdom: England
Production Person Initials
Sir David Muirhead; ; George
Production Person Surname
Bone; Country Life Ltd; Newnes Ltd
Production Year Low
Production Year High

View Full Details

The Great Crater, Athies