Youth Mourning – a painting by George Clausen
April 30, 2009
As I reflect on the process of mourning, I am for a moment, stepping aside from the deconstructionist philosophy of Jacque Derrida and Post Modernism and looking purely at the emotional and expressive reality of the event.
While viewing various works by other artists, I was deeply moved by the sorrow expressed in this painting.
The following description is taken from the Imperial War Museum, London, where the painting is on display:
“Sir George Clausen was an established Royal Academician when he painted Youth Mourning in 1916 at the age of 64. It represents his personal reaction to the loss of a generation of young British soldiers during the conflict, and particularly to the death of his daughter Katharine’s fiance.
Youth, represented as a vulnerable young woman, mourns the death of her love, and by extension, the deaths of all young soldiers. In the distance are the flooded battlefield craters. This allegorical work combines traditional classicism and Christian symbolism with the stark landscape of the Western Front.”