Oak Struck by Lightning, Badger, 1856.

Alfred Capel Cure British

Not on view

Cure joined the army at age eighteen, rising through the ranks to the level of major in 1855. Perhaps he saw the awkwardly arching limbs and shattered form of this young oak struck by lightning as an analogue for the agonies he had witnessed during the Crimean War, when so many colleagues and friends in his regiment were torn apart by shot and shell. This death portrait of a tree was made almost exactly a year after he was severely wounded and nearly lost his life leading his men successfully into battle during the siege of Sebastapol. Curiously, Cure accidentally killed himself while dynamiting the roots of a tree in his park, Badger Hall, some decades later.

Oak Struck by Lightning, Badger, 1856., Alfred Capel Cure (British, 1826–1896), Albumen silver print from paper negative

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