The soldiers are blinded, their eyes covered in gauze, but they lead one another in line, hand stretched over shoulder, past the dead lying at their feet.
Off in the distance, off-duty soldiers play soccer. The mustard yellow background, tinged with a touch of pink, is nearly blinding and, at twenty feet across, the painting all but smacks visitors across the eyes with all the subtlety of a flamethrower. Gassed
by John Singer Sargent, on loan from the Imperial War Museum in London and on view in New York for the first time, is the centerpiece of World War I Beyond the Trenches
, a new exhibition up at the New York Historical Society through September 3. The occasion of the show is the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into what was then known as the War to End All Wars. The show is a tour around the battlefield, as it were, of the artistic and cultural milieu that sprung up around and in response to a war unlike any the world has seen. Read more…