Tommies Bathing, 1918.

In 1918, Sargent received a commission from the British government for a monumental painting commemorating the joint efforts of American and British troops during World War I. That summer, he traveled to the western front in the valley of the Somme in search of a subject. He painted a number of informal watercolors, including these sketches of British soldiers bathing.

John Singer Sargent (American. 1856–1925)

Aquarelle et graphite. Metmuseum.

Sargent employed a high, voyeuristic viewpoint. With impressive technical facility he captured the shadows cast across the bodies by the blades of grass.

 

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