WINSLOW HOMER - UNDERTOW (detail)
On this lifeguards hip, I see the image of two Zouave soldiers. One Zouave soldier appears to be dragging another fallen Zouave soldier. That is "what the thing is not." I do not know what these colorful objects might actually be in the context of the painting.
The top Zouave, with his left arm up, holding onto the lifeguard's button [if we can flip between realities]e appears to be pulling, or towing, something, perhaps a fallen Zouave soldier. The form of the top soldier seems clear. He is standing, bent over. The colors are distinctly Zouave colors. A suggestion of the Zouave image is there, but the form of the lower part is not clear.