John Singer Sargent
1919, oil on canvas 231 x 611
Imperial War Museum, London
Sargent spent four months in France working on the preliminary studies for Gassed. He received a nominal fee of three-hundred pounds for his painting, which was commissioned as a centerpiece for a planned Hall of Remembrance at the Imperial War Museum.
The original conception of the proposed painting was one of American and British troops helping one another. Sargent came upon the idea of showing wounded soldiers after witnessing a field of gassed and blinded men following a battle at Le Bac-du-Sud, where German forces used mustard gas on the 8th and 99th brigades of the 3rd and 2nd divisions.