Lieutenant Henri Farré, an observer-bombardier with the French air corps, carried a sketch pad with him everywhere he went—even into the air. His sketches, which he later committed to canvas, constitute an eyewitness record of the air war that, as Farré said, "was not only painted, but lived by me on the different fronts of France."
Oftentimes, the record was a somber one. The two paintings shown here describe the death of one of Farré’s fellow aviators, killed by enemy bullets while returning home from a bombing mission over Germany in 1915.
The death in 1915 of Captain Albert Féquant is portrayed in these two paintings. Above, he hangs mortally wounded from the observer’s cockpit of his Voisin biplane. Below, the pilot offers a last salute as Féquant’s body is lowered from the plane.