Friday, February 24, 2012

John Charlton: War Artist

Born 28 June 1849 in Bamburgh, Northumberland, John Charlton was an illustrator of contemporary military subjects for The Graphic and more notably a military painter first exhibited in 1870. Only five years old at the time of the Charge, it was not until the age of 40 did he complete his first work on the subject of Balaclava - his 1889 ‘An Incident in the charge of the Light Brigade’ exhibited at the National Academy (not sighted by the author).
'Balaclava' by John Charlton
Charlton’s work simply titled ‘Balaclava’ depicts the 4th and13th Light Dragoons during the Charge of the Light Brigade.

In 1897 he unveiled ‘Comrades’: two troopers of the 17th Lancers lying dead on the field with one of their mounts writhing from a shot (not sighted by the author).
'Charge of the Light Brigade' by John Charlton 1905
Finally, in 1905 John Charlton painted ‘Balaclava: The Charge of the Light Brigade’ with the 17th Lancers once more in the lead as they close on the Russian guns. I suspect this work is often referred to as 'Into the Valley of Death'.

John Charlton lost two sons on the Western Front which was said to attributed to his failure to recover from illness and he died on 10 November 1917 aged 68.

1 comment:

  1. Some great posts today, many of which I was not familiar with so many thanks for sharing. Woodville's work, however, has many happy affiliations.'The Charge of the Light Brigade' was on the cover of the excellent 'Hell Riders' by Terry Brighton whilst 'The Relief of the Light Brigade' is reproduced on the tea coaster I have next to me where I paint.