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The Art of Mort Künstler / The American Spirit / The Civil War

Here you will find a pictorial chronicle of the drama and excitement of American History. These paintings give the viewer an insight into the tumultuous life of this young nation that mere words cannot achieve.

Confederate Winter - limited edition print
General Taylor at Chester's Gap, Virginia, March 1862

This limited edition print is SOLD OUT

Limited Edition Print

Paper Prints
Reproduction technique: Fine offset lithography on neutral pH archival quality paper using the finest fade-resistant inks.
Each print is numbered and signed by the artist and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Image Size: 18 3/4" x 28 1/2" • Overall Size: 23 1/4" x 32 1/2"
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 950
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 50

Mort Künstler's Comments

My painting Confederate Winter, came about in an unusual way. I almost always take a certain event, discover the facts I need for the basic work, and then try to create a good painting. In this case, I have wanted to do a snow scene with a Civil War theme for some time. I have also wanted to do a long view, or vista for some time. I decided to combine the two into one painting.

With but few exceptions, there were no battles fought during the winter, only a few necessary cold marches. I decided that a mountain view or pass would be ideal, and looked for facts about troop movements during inclement weather. After some research, I found mention that when General Richard Taylor led his Louisiana Brigade and some Virginia troops through Chester's Gap, Virginia, in March, 1862, he marched under foul weather conditions. His troops were re-inforcements for "Stonewall" Jackson's army and the spring Shenandoah Valley campaign. This was the basic plot I needed for my painting.

Starting with the view and armed with the knowledge of where the old road lay in the gap, I now had my long mountain vista and snow! Working with the usual order of march, I tried to show the entire force in one painting. General Taylor (holding the map) and his staff lead the first infantry regiments, followed by a battery of artillery, struggling through the snow, mud and uphill course of the road. Then follows the next regiments, and finally the supply wagons, bringing up the rear in the far distance.

General Richard Taylor's likeness is based on a contemporary photograph. The idea of a twilight scene is something that has always appealed to me, but is difficult to illustrate. By using the lantern, I was able to use the contrasting warm light to accentuate the center of interest and emphasize the cold evening lighting effect.

It is not an easy task to create a war painting that projects peace and tranquility, but I believe that this one does.


All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2017. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.