THE ORANGERY OF DENIÉCOURT CHATEAU, NEAR PERONNE
The Deniécourt Chateau was built by the Hervilly family in the 18th century who lived there until months before its desolation. Skeletal trees and scarred land with remnants of masonry and ironwork were all that remained of the beautiful brick and stone house by 1917, one of the many wrecked by the grim fortunes of the First World War.
The Chateau was captured along with the nearby village of Estrées early in 1914 and was used as a regional headquarters by German forces. The Allies made it a priority to recapture it, which they did in the autumn before losing it again in 1915. A second libreation in the summer of 1916 convinced the Germans that the fortified castle could not be held safely and in September 1916 the building was destroyed by heavy artillery bombardment and the nearby commune being captured again. The area was finally liberated by Australian troops in 1918.
signed, titled and dated May 1917
charcoal on paper
53 by 75.5cm.; 21 by 29¾in.
Sale, Bonhams Knightsbridge, 1st October 2014, lot 134, where acquired by the present owner
Worcester, Worcester Art Museum, War Paintings and Drawings by British Artists, 1919, cat. no.8, with Ministry of Information tour to U.S.A.
The Western Front: Drawings by Muirhead Bone, published by the War Office, London, 1917, vol.2, part VII, cat. no.25, illustrated.