2. Martin Hardie, The Ruins of Nervesa, 1918–1919
Before the war Martin Hardie (1875–1952) worked at the Victoria & Albert Museum, writing a catalogue of the print collection of the National Art Library in 1903, and becoming assistant keeper (or curator) in 1914. In the army he rose to the rank of captain, and a number of his etchings showing the last moments of the war as Allied troops fought their way across northern Italy. This print, based on a drawing done in November 1918, shows the ruined town of Nervesa. In a strategic location on the Piave river just 50 kilometres from Venice, Nervesa had been the scene of fierce fighting in June 1918, leaving the town almost completely destroyed. It is now known as Nervesa della Battaglia, or 'Nervesa of the Battle', in commemoration of this tragic event.