C.R.W. Nevinson trained at the Slade School of Art between 1908 and 1912. With the outbreak of the war, he joined the Friends’ Ambulance Unit and Royal Medical Army Corps. An injury led to his discharge in 1916. In 1917, he was appointed a war artist, and his style shifted from a modernist one to a more realist approach.According to one report, only two houses in the small city of Arras remained undamaged wartime destruction by 1916. When it was illustrated in British Artists at the Front in 1918, a brief commentary noted that ‘the rest of Arras after the War will have to be built again”. These buildings evoke the seriousness of that statement: the tobacconist’s shop on the ground floor remains whole, while those on either side have suffered. Their roofs are nothing but bare frames. As with the most powerful of Nevinson’s prints, the lack of human figures reinforces the eerie atmosphere.An early impression was first exhibited at Leicester Galleries in London in March 1918.