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Iconic war painting takes centre stage

John Singer Sargent's harrowing painting of soldiers gassed in the First World War — and which inspired Howard Snell to write as a movement in his masterful 'Gallery' composition, is to be displayed in a new exhibition.

Gassed
  Gassed will be on display at the Imperial War Museum North

A new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North is set to provide an understanding into how the British nation commemorated the horrific loss of life endured during the First World War.

'Lest We Forget?' runs from 27th July to 24th February 2019 will reflect on the commemorative actions adopted at an individual, community or national level.

It will include the display of several iconic paintings commissioned by the British government in 1918 from some of the most prominent war artists such as Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer and Percy Wyndham Lewis.

Emotive

These were to be hung in a First World War Memorial Gallery — a Hall of Remembrance, which was never built and includes 'Gassed' by John Singer Sargent, returning to its home following a two year international tour, and which inspired composer Howard Snell to write an emotive movement for inclusion in his masterful brass band composition, 'Gallery'.

'Gassed' depicts the aftermath of a mustard gas attack during the First World War, with a line of wounded soldiers walking towards a dressing station.

Western Front

Sargent was commissioned by the British War Memorials Committee to document the war and visited the Western Front in July 1918 spending time with the Guards Division near Arras, and then with the American Expeditionary Forces near Ypres.

It was completed by the artist in March 1919 voted 'Picture of the Year' by the Royal Academy of Arts in 1919. It was displayed in the United States in 1999 for a series of retrospective exhibitions, and from 2016 to 2018 for exhibitions commemorating the centenary of the First World War.

'Gassed' depicts the aftermath of a mustard gas attack during the First World War, with a line of wounded soldiers walking towards a dressing station4BR

Recorded

Although not included when the work was used at the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2017, 'The March back to Camp' has since been included in a recording of the work by the Cory Band.

Find out more

To find out more about the exhibition go to: https:/­/­www.artfund.org/­whats-on/­exhibitions/­2018/­07/­27/­lest-we-forget-exhibition

To find out more about the Cory recording go to: https:/­/­www.4barsrest.com/­reviews/­products/­cd609.asp

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