The Easel

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Spanish flu killed millions yet seems absent from art works of that period. But perhaps not. John Singer Sargent, who caught the flu while working as a British war artist, produced Gassed, which shows soldiers blinded by gas.  It “equates [war and pandemic] in its portrayal of a group of people waiting to receive medical attention. [I]t makes what is so fearful in a time of viral pandemic—physical proximity and human touch—into a saving grace.”