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Collection of paintings recording life behind the German trenches during World War I to go on sale
The works chronicle the daily life in the sector both before the cataclysmic 1 July 1916 and after.
LONDON.- In response to the interest in the First World War generated by the forthcoming Centenary, Abbott and Holder will be featuring a collection of approximately 60 paintings in ink, watercolour and gouache painted by Albert Heim (b.1890) to record life in and behind the German trenches on the Somme near Thiepval on either side of the great Allied offensive on 1 July, 1916.

Heim who had trained as an artist and illustrator at the Stuttgart School of Applied Arts, was serving in the Wurtemburger 51st Reserve Division and was given this commission by his senior officer Lieutenant General Theodor von Wundt (1858-1929).

The works chronicle the daily life in the sector both before the cataclysmic 1 July 1916 and after. Quite different in technique and approach to British work from that date they are also, one could argue, marked by a particularly Germanic sense of humour and ‘take’ on the situation.

The remarkable survival of these works is in itself an interesting tale. Von Wundt’s youngest son Rolf was a leading radio physicist and authority on antennae who was airlifted away from Berlin and the Russians by the Americans in ‘Operation Paper Clip’ at the end of WW2. With him went this collection.

The collection will be exhibited by Abbott & Holder at the Watercolours + Works on Paper Fair which will be held at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London SW7, from Thursday 31 January - Sunday 3 February 2013.

The Science Museum’s collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change from the past. Aiming to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the Science Museum makes sense of the science that shapes our lives, sparking curiosity, releasing creativity and changing the future by engaging people of all generations and backgrounds in science, engineering, medicine, technology, design and enterprise.

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