Immortal Shrine Fine Art Print
Following the success of “Menin Gate at Midnight”, Longstaff painted a number of other works on a similar haunting theme. “Immortal Shrine” depicts ghostly soldiers marching past the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Day, l928.
This painting is closely based on a watercolour by Longstaff, held in the Imperial War Museum, that depicts the Cenotaph on a rainy day. The bold structure of the Cenotaph, the reflections in the street, and the glimmering lights are similar, but the watercolour is peopled by the silhouetted figures of ordinary men and women, rather than by soldiers. In “Immortal Shrine” the Cenotaph itself has a surreal presence, gauntly white in front of the sombre, blue-black buildings that dissolve into the backdrop.
Like its famous predecessor, “Immortal Shrine” has undeniable power, and although not so well known, is nevertheless just as hypnotic and evocative. The endless marching columns of ghostly soldiers fading into the distance portray the many nameless heroes who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War, and who live on in our National memory.
The original oil painting was presented to the Australian War Memorial in 1943.