Les Camoufleurs - Perspectives No. 297
Perspectives No. 297
Artists became integral to the military effort of France during World War 1. Changing forms of warfare and modern firearms, made the traditional colorful uniforms of the French army impractical. Nearly all the soldiers still wore the famous red trousers advertising their presence to enemy soldiers.
The Camoufleurs included many traditional representative painters, but also included many well-known Cubists. Scévola wrote "In order to deform totally the aspect of the object, I had to employ the means that cubists use to represent it."* Cubist artists such as André Mare, Jacques Villon, Georges Braque, André Dunoyer de Segonzac, Charles Camoin and Roger de La Fresnaye were employed in the Section de Camouflage. In the years before the war, many of them had their artwork ridiculed by critics. They had been seen as unpatriotic and some had their work labeled "Boche painting" because their patrons included many Germans. But their work as Camoufleurs was critical to the war effort. Fifteen of the Camoufleurs were killed during the war.
* Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage by Peter Forbes
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