A MAJOR exhibition of artwork from the First World War begins in York today.

The exhibition at York Art Gallery will host a collection of works from the Great War, many of which have not shared the same room since a Royal Academy exhibition in 1919.

The first room of the exhibition will be dedicated to the works of artists who experienced life on the front line first hand.

A spokesman for the gallery said: "In their quest to comprehend and give meaning to a modern and unfamiliar war, young British ‘serving’ artists challenged established ideas of war and redefined notions of the ‘truth’ in art.

"Other rooms in the exhibition will look at how British art met the challenge of commemorating the First World War and how this helped form the collective memory of the war as we know it today. In doing so, it will address why some pictures have seemed to transcend definitions of art and come to epitomise the slaughter and sacrifice of the First World War."

The main section of the exhibition will focus on plans by Lord Beaverbrook’s British War Memorials Committee and the Imperial War Museum to build "an artistic record of the nation’s war in the form of a Hall of Remembrance".

Among the works on show will be commissioned paintings including Paul Nash’s The Menin Road, Jacob Epstein’s The Tin Hat, and William Orpen’s controversial To The Unknown Soldier In France, which criticised the Allied leaders following the end of the First World War.

The exhibition, entitled Truth and Memory, begins today. For more details on opening times and prices, go to yorkartgallery.org.uk