Sargent Murals at the Widener Library, Harvard

Entering the War

Sargent’s Widener murals occupy arched panels over fourteen feet high facing all who ascend the stair. The mural on the right, Entering the War, is crowded with marching Harvard troops. The composition’s diagonal movement right to left catches the viewer up in the oncoming stream of soldiers; a glimpse of blue water on the far left defines the war as overseas. The troops in the foreground extend their arms toward symbolic figures representing the Allies. With its uniformed ranks of soldiers beneath the national symbols of flag and eagle, the painting conveys aggressive patriotic commitment.
Death and Victory, 1922
Oil on canvas, 439.42 x 186.69 cm
Entering the War, 1922
Oil on canvas, 444.04 x 186.69 cm
Widener Library, Harvard University
The Triumph of Religion