Brothers Sydney and Richard Carline were employed as official war artists by the Imperial War Museum during the First World War, each tasked with documenting aerial warfare.

Between 1918 and 1920, the brothers produced dozens of artworks recording views over the Western Front, the Italian Front and the Middle East.

Here is a small selection of some of their incredible artwork.


Lens, France

An aerial view of the French city of Lens from a British plane. A British biplane is in flight on the left and there are traces of wispy cloud in the sky.
© IWM Art.IWM ART 2661

An Impression of Lens, France, Seen from an Aeroplane, 1918, by Richard Carline.


The Asiago Plateau, Italy

An aerial view of the Asiago Plateau with the Italian Alps in the upper background. Three aircraft, seen from above, circle in the upper left of the composition; there are small clouds on the right and lower centre. The view looks down onto an Italian village with a tall tower and a road running towards the centre of the image.
© IWM Art.IWM ART 2679

British Scouts leaving their Aerodrome on Patrol, over the Asiago Plateau, Italy, 1918, by Sydney Carline.



A view along the length of the wing of a bi-plane over white fluffy clouds, with the tops of two mountains emerging from amongst the clouds in the distance.
© IWM Art.IWM ART 3081

Mount Hermon and Mount Sannin above the Clouds, 1920, by Richard Carline.


The River Euphrates, Iraq

The back view of a pilot from the rear cockpit of a BE2C. The struts and wires of the wing structure surround the pilot, who wears helmet and goggles and is looking down and to his left, leaning slightly out of the cockpit. The River Euphrates runs below, winding across a flat plain. In the lower left there is a small puff of white smoke, and in the centre right a plume of black smoke can be seen through the wires of the wing. A pink haze of dust fills the horizon in the upper background.
© IWM Art.IWM ART 4617

A British Pilot in a BE2C approaching Hit along the course of the River Euphrates, 1919, by Sydney Carline.


Ypres, Belgium

An aerial view of the heavily bomb-damaged town of Ypres, which is effectively just an outline shell of a town. Only a few shells of buildings still stand, the rest of the town centre having largely been cleared of buildings and rubble. The town is surrounded by fields and linked to villages by several roads.
© IWM Art.IWM ART 6342

Ypres Seen from an Aeroplane, 1918, by Richard Carline.


The Sea of Galilee

A high altitude aerial view of the Sea of Galilee. It is flanked by hills on the right-hand shore, the Jordan river lower left and a snow-capped Mount Hermon rising above the clouds in the upper right of the composition. Three aircraft fly towards the lake, where several dark shapes of Turkish motorboats setting off from the shore are visible.
© IWM Art.IWM ART 3080

The Sea of Galilee: Aeroplanes Attacking Turkish Boats, 1919, by Sydney Carline.


Baghdad, Iraq

An aerial view of Baghdad from an aircraft. The city lies on either side of the wide and meandering Tigris river, which has dark green fields at its banks. The surrounding land appears more arid.
© IWM Art.IWM ART 6348

Baghdad, 1919, by Richard Carline.


The Iraqi Desert

An unnaturally bright sun blazes over a landscape with a river. There is an aircraft flying over the desert in the lower right of the composition.
© IWM Art.IWM ART (4623)

Flying Over the Desert at Sunset, Mesopotamia, 1919, by Sydney Carline.

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