In my Wednesday post on Vimy Ridge, Grace from Perth Daily Photo mentioned another work by William Longstaff, Menin Gate At Midnight (Ghosts Of Menin Gate), painted in 1927, depicting spectral ghosts around the monument in Belgium. The painting is in the collection of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. I had seen the painting before, which is reproduced here from the Memorial's website. The Gate itself is a massive memorial to Commonwealth dead of the First World War, with the names of over fifty thousand soldiers whose bodies were never identified or found. Each evening, the citizens of Ypres observe a ceremony here, with buglers sounding the Last Post.
|Australian War Memorial collection|
It turns out that Longstaff's painting has arrived here in Ottawa on loan to the War Museum for an exhibit, opening in early November. I plan on seeing the exhibit, of course. I can certainly see Longstaff's spectral influences in the painting, a theme he revisited in other works, including his Ghosts Of Vimy Ridge. For more on Longstaff and the Menin Gate, click this link.