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The Art of Mort Künstler / The Gallery Store / Limited Edition Prints / Famous Americans / Jackson, Thomas J. “Stonewall”



Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson (Jackson Enters Winchester) - limited edition print SOLD OUT
Winchester, Virginia May 25, 1862


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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 3/8" x 29"
Overall Size: 22 7/8" x 33"
750 Limited Edition Numbered and Signed
50 Artist Proofs Numbered and Signed

Giclée on Canvas
Masterpiece Collection
Overall size: 26" x 40"
Limited Edition of 35 signed and numbered by the artist.

General Thomas J. Jackson rose from a hardscrabble childhood as an orphan to become acclaimed as an American military genius. In 1861, this obscure instructor from Virginia Military Institute gained enduring fame in battle as “Stonewall” Jackson – then enlarged his fame into legend with his extraordinary and victorious Valley Campaign of 1862. Jackson would earn the mantle of military greatness as General Robert E. Lee’s unsurpassed “right arm.”

At the height of his great campaign in the Shenandoah, Jackson and his army swept into Winchester as Union forces fled northward in defeat. The 5th Virginia Infantry of Jackson’s own “Stonewall Brigade” leads the way into Winchester, and the townspeople flock about their liberators. Despite the dust and smoke from battle, many of the faces are familiar as Winchester is their hometown. Confederate flags, hidden in closets and trunks for so long, suddenly appear from windows, and the rush through the streets becomes a parade. Caught in the spirit of the moment, Jackson accepts accolades of the grateful citizens suddenly free from the Union control they had been under for so long. “Stonewall” Jackson has reached the zenith of his career, rising from the defeat of Kernstown to clearing the Shenandoah Valley from superior numbers of Union forces within two months. The citizens of Winchester not only applaud the victorious general… they gaze upon the legend.

The celebration is brief for Jackson. To the north, the sound of musketry can still be heard. Jackson presses on, the greatest victory of his brilliant Valley campaign nearly over, leaving only the legend behind.


Mort Kunstler's Comments

The inspiration for this painting came from General "Stonewall" Jackson himself. In a letter to his wife he mentions, "I do not remember ever having seen such rejoicing. Our entrance into Winchester was one of the most stirring scenes of my life." Starting with this, I went to Winchester to do research on the painting and was helped immeasurably by Rebecca Ebert and Ben Ritter, both of the Winchester Library, and the Winchester Historical Society. Their archives held old photographs and records of Winchester and what the city and streets were like at that period.

The key focus of this scene is Taylor's Hotel, a famous local landmark that was used as the headquarters of General Nathaniel Banks and was recently voted the most famous famous building in Winchester. The building has changed quite a bit, and now houses a McCrory Drugstore. The other buildings and signs you can see in the painting are based on facts I gleaned from the archives and other sources. The Russel and Green Dry Goods Store was next to the Taylor Hotel, with Bell's Book Store adjacent to that. Across the street was another hotel, "The Washington". A dry goods store further up the street and other shops are located as accurately as possible. In the lower left corner, you see brick sidewalk and stone curbing which still exists on some city streets in Winchester. The street at that time was, of course, dirt.

The flags are based on the flags of the Confederacy in 1862. You can see the National flag as well as copies of the battle flag, similar to the used in the style used in the field by the army. I tried to impart as much excitement and joy as possible since this was the first time that Winchester had been liberated from a long, and reportedly harsh period of Union control, with the Confederates being welcomed as conquering heroes. There are descriptions of flowers being given to the soldiers. Since many of the men in Jackson's army came from Winchester itself, you see one soldier who has scooped up his girlfriend or wife, and on the right in front of Taylor's is another kissing his loved one.

Of the four mounted officers, Jackson is the center of interest, deliberately silhouetted against the sky with all focus on him, and his closest staff members nearby. On the left, riding the background, Major Robert Dabney. The officer to the right of Jackson, waving his hat to friends on the hotel balcony, is Dr. Hunter McGuire who lived in Winchester in the post-war years, and whose house I had a chance to visit. The last officer is Major Henry Kyd Douglas, noted post-war biographer of Jackson.

Behind the officers march troops of Jackson's old brigade, led by the famed "Stonewall Brigade Band" which was primarily made up of brass and drums. In addition to their instruments, the band also fought and acted as couriers and letter bearers. During the peaceful interludes, the band visited small towns and gave concerts in order to spur enlistments and raise relief funds for soldiers' families.

Jackson and his troops entered Winchester on May 25, 1862 at about 10 o'clock in the morning. To get the same lighting effect at that time of year was difficult as I was not able to visit on that particular date. But towards the end of July when I did visit, it was one month past the spring equinox and the lighting effect was virtually the same as on May 25th. The troops came in from the south. At that hour of the morning, the buildings cast a dramatic light and shade pattern on the street which enabled me to call attention to the center of interest, Jackson and the Confederate flag.

When I do a painting of this sort, I try to put myself into the place of each person there and think of what they would be feeling and doing at the same time. Very often, some of the actions are related, one to the other. I do this with each and every figure. If you see a disconsolate figure, it's perhaps a wife waiting anxiously for the sight of her husband in the ranks. When you see cheering people, you know they have suddenly sighted a dear one that has come back from the battle.

I consider General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson one of my most pleasurable paintings, and I only hope the viewer enjoys looking at it half as much as I enjoyed painting it.


 

 
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 © 2001-2018. 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.