Art Showcase

If you experience any problems placing your order online, please call 800-850-1776 to order by phone.

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.

Magnolia Morning - limited edition print SOLD OUT
Arlington Plantation, Providence, LA April 7, 1861

Paper Signed and Numbered - $0.00
Paper Artist's Proof - $0.00
Canvas, Signed and Numbered - $0.00
Canvas, Artist's Proof - $0.00


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: 18-1/2” x 26-1/2" • Overall Size: 24” x 31-1/2”
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: 19-1/2” x 29-1/2"
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 200
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 20

Historical Information:

It was the morning of great dreams and the day of high hopes. The night before, a gala ball had celebrated Southern nationhood, and had honored the men in gray who would go to war the next day. Hours later, as the soft morning light bathed a new day, it was time for goodbyes.

Now, young men in new uniforms shared farewells with loved ones. It was a bittersweet moment: departure was difficult, but ahead awaited glory, honor and the fortunes of war. It was a scene reenacted throughout America - both in the North and the South. Soon, however, the romance of the moment would disappear. Ahead lay the realities of war. More than 5,000 would fall at First Manassas. Another 23,000 would be lost at Sharpsburg, and more than 50,000 would become casualties of war at Gettysburg.

For the present, however, Americans were basking in a patriotic glow. The young men of the North were preparing to fight for the Union. Southerners were rushing to arms to defend their homeland. The ball was over, and ahead lay the wages of war. Yet, in the fleeting softness of a new day and the gentle squeeze of a tender embrace, there was a brief and shining moment that would be remembered always.

Mort Künstler’s Comments:

Four years ago in 1997, my limited edition print, Moonlight & Magnolias was released. The large edition sold out almost immediately and became one of my most popular prints. Since then, many have asked when I would paint a similar work. In response, I decided to do a sequel to Moonlight and Magnolias, which was set at a secession ball at Arlington plantation near Providence, Louisiana.

The day after the ball provides a wonderful scene. It is the morning of April 7, 1861. In contrast to the moonlight of the first picture, I painted bright sunlight. The guests are leaving Arlington Plantation, so their carriages are seen waiting. The women are fashionably attired in their day dresses, just as they were properly dressed in their beautiful gowns the night before. The men are wearing their new uniforms and are preparing to leave for war. The same flags that were displayed at the ball - Louisiana flags and the Confederate first national flag - are still hanging from the upstairs railing of the plantation house. I purposely placed the house at a different angle, and it, of course, looks magnificent from any point of view.

By combining the blooming azaleas and magnolias, the bright sunlight and the blue sky with puffy white clouds, I felt I could capture the optimistic feelings of that time. I chose to emphasize the theme of high hopes and departures by painting the presentation of a going-away gift as a central focus.

Of course, reality would set in - the white clouds would symbolically become the dark clouds of war - and life at Arlington Plantation would become a test of wartime endurance. At the moment, however, these southerners - like their counterparts in the North - were excited and enthralled with the romantic notion of war. This was the reality of the war in April of 1861, and it would prove to be an unforgettable but brief moment in a long, hard conflict.


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.