Drag Ropes

W. Lewis, 1882 - 1957

Drag Ropes

W. Lewis 1882 - 1957


Study drawing of men pulling on ropes. To the foreground a group of three men pull on a rope stretching out to the right. The man at the centre has his back to the viewer. The man to his left is facing the viewer from the other side of the rope, whilst only a leg and an arm is visible of the third figure at the far left edge. In the background another line of men can be seen pulling on a rope stretched out to the right. From March 1916 Wyndham Lewis served as gunner with the Royal Garrison Artillery during the First World War serving at Messines Ridge and Pashendaele until he was commissioned as an Official War Artist from December 1917. He then started a series of drawings as a visual memoir of his time on the Western Front. This drawing details the immense organisation of the British artillery units. Lewis' belief in the de-personalising impact of army life is reflected in the mechanical appearance and character of the artillerymen going about their tasks. Here, Lewis depicts teams of men manoeuvring heavy howitzer guns as dark twisted beings. Their individuality has been consumed by the team effort. Lewis sought to understand and express the debilitating impact of the conflict on the human condition.

Object Name

Drag Ropes

Creators Name

W. Lewis

Date Created

1918 (circa)


support: 35.3cm x 41cm

accession number


Place of creation







Gift of Mr Charles Lambert Rutherston, 1925


© the Artist’s Estate. All Rights Reserved 2021/ Bridgeman Images

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