No Man's Land, by Charles Sargeant Jagger, 1919-1920. Bronze. 1264 x 3075 x 90 mm. Courtesy of the Tate Gallery, Ref. N01354. Presented by the Council of British School at Rome, 1923. Available for download on the Creative Commons License. Text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Jagger completed this work while he was at the British School at Rome. It had grown out of his own war experiences at Gallipoli, and, says Ann Compton, reflects his feeling that "sculpture could treat subjects previously dominated by painters" (31). In fact, as memorial sculpture poured out for all those who had lost their lives in the First World War, "Jagger became one of the leading memorial sculptors" (gallery label).

His work was not of the traditionally heroic type, however. This relief, for instance, shows one live soldier squatting in a dugout observation-post, under cover of many corpses and shattered war paraphernalia. In this unsparing treatment of the horrors and brutality of war Jagger seems to have been influenced by Edouard Lantéri at the Royal College of Art as well as by Rodin and Jacob Epstein, if not by German Expressionism. But Compton rightly points out that in the completed work "the rawness of subject matter is balanced by an elegantly rhythmic composition" (32).

Bibliography

"Charles Sargeant Jagger: No Man's Land, 1919-1920" (Tate Gallery image and gallery label). Web. 2 June 2017.

Compton, Ann. The Sculpture of Charles Sargeant Jagger. Much Hadham, Herts: The Henry Moore Foundation; Aldershot: Lund Humphries, 2004.


Created 2 June 2017