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Professor Paul Gough

Dr Paul Gough is RWA Professor of Fine Arts at the University of the West of England, Bristol where he is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). A broadcaster, painter and writer, he has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, and is represented in the permanent collection of the Imperial War Museum, London; the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, and the New Zealand War Memorial. He has published in a wide range of topics, including the processes and iconography of commemoration, the cultural geographies of battlefields, and the representation of peace and conflict in the 20th/21st century. Amongst his recent books is a monograph on the British artist Stanley Spencer,
Journey to Burghclere (2006) and A Terrible Beauty (2010) an extensive study of British art of the Great War. During ten years work as television presenter, researcher and associate producer he worked for UK’s ITV, BBC and C4 on a range of creative arts programmes from dance to drama, poetry to painting, including the award winning documentary Redundant Warrior, about the war photographer, Don McCullin. As part of his leadership role in higher education he has worked throughout UK, Australia and New Zealand, advising on the formal assessment of university research.

He has a particular interest in the graphic language used to describe places of conflict, and has carried out extensive research into the history of military sketching and panoramic drawing, whereby graphic and cartographic conventions and line drawing have been used (and indeed still continue to be used) for sniping, surveillance and target indication on the battlefield. See for example his blog:

He has also researched the role of regimental painters in recording the appearance of battle, concentrating in particular on issues of exactitude and authenticity. His essay on the British painter David Rowlands is available on: and on his Vortex website:

Paul Gough’s research is based on several decades of drawing en plein air and also having been commissioned for a number of multi-national companies to produced visual records of places, events and incidents, including a number of commissions with the British army and Royal Marines, and drawings of former battlegrounds: see

Gough, P.J. (2009) ‘Calculating the future’ – panoramic sketching, reconnaissance drawing and the material trace of war, in Saunders, N and Cornish, P. (eds.) Contested Objects: Material Memories of the Great War, Routledge, pp. 237-251, London, 2009.

Gough, P.J. (2008) ‘Exactitude is truth’: representing the British military through commissioned artworks’, Journal of War and Culture Studies Vol. 1 No.3, pp.341-356, 5 colour illustrations, 2008.

Gough, P.J. 'An Epic of Mud': Artistic Interpretations of Third Ypres, in 'Passchendaele in Perspective: the 3rd Battle of Ypres', editor Peter Liddle, chapter 25, 4 b & w illus, Leo Cooper, 1997.

Gough, P.J. 'The Experience of British Artists in the Great War, in Facing Armageddon: The Great War Experienced' - editors Peter Liddle and Hugh Cecil, Pen and Sword/Leo Cooper, 1996.

Paul Gough
‘A Terrible Beauty’: War, British Artists and the First World War
(UK, 2009)
ISBN 978-1-906593-00-1
This book explores a diverse group of war artists and their work, examining in detail the wartime lives of fifteen artists who are central to the way we now visualize the War on the Western Front and on more distant battlefields in Macedonia and Gallipoli. It contains the first detailed examination of lesser known war artists such as Adrian Hill and Muirhead Bone, and offers new material on military sketching. The research was based on over a decade of fieldwork, archive research and original investigation in the Imperial War Museum and other collections.

Aspects of the research were disseminated at conferences and through public lectures: The Iconography of Emptiness, ffotogallery, Cardiff, February 2010; Festival of Ideas, Bristol, May 2010; War Art and the Imagination, BRSLI, Bath, June 2010; and extracts were published in
‘Two Gun Tony and the Prints of War’, Chop, journal of the Malaspina Printmaking Studio Vancouver, Canada, January 2010.



Professor Paul Gough
Professor Paul Gough
Professor Paul Gough
Professor Paul Gough
Professor Paul Gough
Professor Paul Gough
Professor Paul Gough
Professor Paul Gough