|(Gassed by John Singer Sargent, 1918-1919. Photograph: Alamy|
In 1918, the British Ministry of Information commissioned the American painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) to contribute a large-scale work to a planned Hall of Remembrance commemorating Anglo-American cooperation. Travelling to the front in July 1918, Sargent witnessed the harrowing aftermath of mustard gas attacks, which became the subject of this new work, Gassed - a six-metre-long tableau depicting a procession of wounded men stumbling, blindfolded, towards a dressing station.
While this painting, completed in 1919, is not representative of the illustrious portraitist's oeuvre, it has become widely recognised as an embodiment of the pain of war in a strangely serene and dignified manner. Virginia Woolf, in her essay The Fleeting Portrait, wrote of Gassed that it "at last pricked some nerve of protest, or perhaps of humanity". It now hangs in the Imperial War Museum in London.)
IN THE MIDDLE EAST CHAPTER OF HER BOOK MS CLINTON MAKES STATEMENTS THAT AT BEST COULD BE CONSIDERED INSENSITIVE TO ISRAEL, OR AT WORST THA...