The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme – An Illustrated Panorama.
This is one piece of war art you won’t want to miss. Sweeping from the General to the grave, Sacco’s keen eye and steady hand render the battle with a fidelity that defies the book’s compact size and simple medium. I’ve seen the Gettysburg Cyclorama three times, and while Phillippoteaux took 42 x 377 feet to portray Pickett’s Charge and its environs in oil on canvas, Sacco captures even more action in only 8 x 264 inches of line drawings on paper.
The viewpoint hovers somewhere between tossing treetop and tiled rooftop, enabling the perspective to effortlessly expand or contract, as it follows the activity overrunning a recognizably French village in the rear area, to the tumultuously busy support trenches, and then to the claustrophobically crowded front line. The space the troops occupy is too small to permit much facial detail, but Sacco portrays their individuality…
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