Art Showcase

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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.

Divine Guidance - limited edition print SOLD OUT
Stonewall Jackson

Limited Edition Print on Paper - $0.00
Limited Edition Artist Proof - $0.00
Giclée on Canvas - signed and numbered - $0.00
Giclée on Canvas - Artist's Proof - $0.00
Virginia Tech Edition Canvas Signed and Numbered - $0.00

Divine Guidance was inspired by a scene in the motion picture Gods and Generals and was painted in 2002.


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: 11” x 9” • Overall Size: 15” x 13-1/2”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 1150
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 100

Giclée Canvas Prints
Reproduction technique: Giclées are printed with the finest archival pigmented inks on canvas.
Each print is numbered and signed by the artist and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Size: 14” x 11”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 100
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 10
Virginia Tech Edition Signed & Numbered - includes leather bound numbered copy of Gods and Generals • Edition Size: 150

Release Date: 2003

Historical Information

It was heart-breaking news, even for a man of war. General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson received the hard tidings at his headquarters near Fredericksburg, Virginia early on the morning of March 17, 1863. Just the day before, the general’s headquarters had been relocated from a winter campsite he had occupied for several months at nearby Moss Neck Plantation. At the time, the owner of Moss Neck, Richard Corbin, was serving elsewhere in the Confederate cavalry. Left at home on the plantation was his wife, Roberta, and the couple’s five year-old daughter, Jane Wellford Corbin - who was known affectionately as “Janie.”

General Jackson and Janie became friends. Jackson had an infant daughter back home that he had not yet seen, and he found little Jane irresistibly delightful. “She was very pretty and bright,” an officer would recall, “with a sweet and happy face and fair, flaxen curls.” She came regularly to visit the famous commander at headquarters, and Jackson would interrupt his duties to play with her. “She would play there for hours,” an observer would recollect, “sitting on the floor with a pair of scissors cutting paper and entertaining him with her childish prattle.” Jackson normally kept the warm, affectionate side of his personality to himself, and was known to fellow officers and troops as formal and reserved. Officers and soldiers who held such a view of the general were stunned to find him upon occasion that winter sitting on his headquarters floor, laughing and playing with joyful little Janie.

When Jackson moved his headquarters to nearby Hamilton’s Crossing in preparation for a spring offensive, he left Moss Neck with concern for little Janie. She had contracted scarlet fever, but reports from the Corbin home seemed hopeful, and the general expressed his wishes for a speedy recovery. A day after establishing his new headquarters, however, Jackson received the awful news: his little friend Janie had suddenly died.

Stonewall Jackson - the great and mighty warrior whose hammer-like blows had driven the enemy from so many fields of fire - wept aloud. Then he unashamedly knelt and took his burdens to the Lord in prayer. Such was his way. Within a few months, it would also be time for Stonewall Jackson to “cross over the river….”

Mort Künstler’s Comments

One of the most heart-rending events in the wartime career of General Stonewall Jackson came when the general received the news that little Janie Corbin had died. She was a child he had befriended while in winter camp in 1862-63. When news of the child’s death arrived at his newly relocated headquarters, Jackson, the stern disciplinarian, burst into tears. Then he knelt in prayer, as was his custom when dealing with difficult or important situations. One of his aides could not understand why the great warrior could cry over one life after all the deaths Jackson had seen in his army. The answer from another aide was: “I think he is weeping for them all.”

This moving moment in Jackson’s life is authentically depicted in the motion picture Gods and Generals, in which Stonewall Jackson is played to perfection by actor Stephen Lang. As the official artist for the movie, I was privileged to read the original screenplay, observe filming on the set, and to see a “rough cut” advance version of the motion picture. My friend Ron Maxwell, who is the director of Gods and Generals, captures this emotional event with such expertise in the motion picture. I have long wanted to paint this scene, and my goal is to capture the moment in my medium with the same level of artistry that Mr. Maxwell has captured it in the film.

Jackson received the news about his little friend early in the morning, so I concentrated on painting the long shadows of early daylight and put Jackson in shade. This enabled me to have the lightest part of the painting, the bright sunlight hitting the tent and flag, behind him to create a contrasting light and dark pattern. The viewer’s focus is immediately on Jackson and the flag, helping to tell the story. In all the dark times of his life - and there were so many in that terrible war - Jackson always resorted to his faith. Jackson has often been depicted in our day as a harsh and hard-hearted man, but in reality he was quite the opposite. Although he indeed could be stern at times, he was also a man of deep-felt emotions, genuine kindness and remarkable tenderness. This is the side of Jackson that I see as he wept and prayed, and it is that particular portrait of the Mighty Stonewall that I am seeking to convey in Divine Guidance.


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 © 2001-2022. 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.