Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Mules

Artist:
John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London)
Date:
1918
Medium:
Watercolor, graphite, and wax crayon on off-white wove paper
Dimensions:
13 3/16 x 20 15/16 in. (33.5 x 53.2 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond, 1950
Accession Number:
50.130.49
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 770
The prolific Sargent made dozens of sketches and watercolors during his time at the Western Front as an official war artist for Britain. His subjects ranged from the horrific effects of modern chemical warfare to more intimate watercolors, which document the ruin and chaos of war and vignettes of daily life. Mules would have been a common sight at the front. Because of their strength and ability to maneuver difficult terrain they were widely used to transport troops, provisions, and artillery. Here Sargent avoids overt references to war but hints at the difficult conditions by depicting the mules’ hooves immersed in deep mud.
Inscription: [on verso at upper left]: 149 [underlined] / By J.S.Sargent /E.S. / V.O. / (trust); [at center]: [?]/21; [at lower left]: W.W; [at lower right]: 990 [encircled]

Marking: I
For exhibition history through 2000, see Stephanie L. Herdrich and H. Barbara Weinberg, American Drawings and Watercolors in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: John Singer Sargent, New York, 2000.
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