Sketches of Three Soldiers Another critical factor, and one with direct connections to Sargent’s subject, was World War I. Prior to the war, the artist’s metaphorical use of Jewish and Christian history and scripture to signal the progress of Western civilization from a pagan, dogmatic, and institutional past toward individual freedom and spiritual subjectivity had seemed a compelling idea. After the war, however, many viewed the whole notion of human progress with skepticism.
Sketches of Three Soldiers, 1918, detail
Graphite on paper, 25.6 x 35.6 cm
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums,
Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond
The Triumph of Religion