The Great War (1914-1918) saw a number of painters from all participating nations attempt to portray the very new kind of warfare being fought in the skies. Some of these were official war artists appointed by their respective governments/war ministries charged with portraying their nation’s role in the conflict. Others were private artists who chose to depict the aerial campaign including a few who actually served in uniform during the war itself.
A common feature of these works is that these early aviation painters tended to place ‘art’ before technical detail. Many of these artists drew and painted aircraft with a freedom and sketchiness, not to mention a tendency to allow imagination to substitute for exacting technical detail.