If you experience any problems placing your order online, please call 516-624-2830 to order by phone.
Image Size: 13" x 17 3/4".
Overall Size: 17 1/2" x 21 3/4".
1000 Limited Edition Numbered and Signed.
75 Artist Proofs Numbered and Signed.
In 1992, I accepted a commission from Turner Publishing Company to do a series of paintings on the Battle of Gettysburg, the greatest battle of the War Between the States. They were published an a new book, Gettysburg: The Paintings of Mort Kunstler, which was released in October of 1993. The book is a companion work to the new feature film and television mini-series, Gettysburg, produced by Turner Broadcasting and based on the Michael Schaara historical novel The Killer Angels.
To me, one of the pivotal historical developments in the Battle of Gettysburg was the absence of General Robert E. Lee's cavalry during most of the battle. Lee really depended on his cavalry, which he called the eyes of his army, but his courageous cavalry commander , General J.E.B. Stuart, had taken his horsemen on a raid far away from the action at Gettysburg. As a consequence, Lee was unable to effectively monitor the Northern troop dispositions during the crucial first two days of battle.
Finally, late on the second day of fighting, Stuart arrived and was greeted by an exasperated General Lee. The two men loved and respected each other and it was an awkward moment for both - kind of like a father forced to reprimand the son he loves so much. Finally, Lee's compassion got the best of him and he ended the confrontation with words of encouragement for Stuart, who was understandably dispirited about the whole affair.
In trying to capture this dramatic confrontation in a painting, I decided to use the warm light shining from the tent to illuminate the main characters dramatically and to create a contrast with the cool moonlight effect. By putting Lee's hands on his hips, I was able to impart a feeling of exasperation toward Stuart. Lee was such a gentleman - so dignified and self-controlled - that he seldom showed much more emotion than that.
To me, it was a moving scene - almost like a scene from a family - and I hoped it would be well-received by the public. When my original paintings of various scenes from the Battle of Gettysburg were placed on display at the Gettysburg Cyclorama in the summer of 1993, thousands of people saw The Return of Stuart.
To my delight, it proved to be the most popular image of the entire Gettysburg exhibition.