HomeLIKHAvol. 18 no. 1 (1998)

Art in War, War in Art, Worlds Apart: Philippine and British Paintings during the Second World War

Pieta Agatha G. Verdadero

Discipline: Art




“'The war to end all wars" was the tag attached to the global strife of 1914 to 1918. This was a naive statement, of course, as little did the world realize that barely a year over a decade after, yet another war was to come-much bigger in scope of reach, intensity of firepower and the general loss of lives and properties.


It is in this conflict-ridden arena of the Second World War upon which the researcher now directs the reader's attention. In here, she intends to study the effects the war had wrought through the arts that reflected or, as in a number of cases, deflected and refracted these in visual form. By extension, the reader may also understand the peculiar function of the arts in the context of war.


This essay is a peek into the visual arts of two very diverse cultures: the Filipino and the English-in the context of the Second World War. It is a comparison of experiences, tendencies and attitudes that surrounded the creation of visions on canvas during the conflict commencing in the late thirties in Europe and ending in the mid-forties in the Asia-Pacific region. It is an exploration of possible similarities and differences between them at that time.