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The Art of Mort Künstler / The American Spirit / 20th Century Military / World War II

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.

Vision of Freedom's Victory, The
23 February 1945 — Iwo Jima

Historical Information

In modern wars, flags are rarely seen in combat and the days when soldiers could rally round the flag are long past. World War II was fought first in Europe where Allied strength was concentrated against Hitler. At first the war in the Pacific had second priority. Because of this, and because of the huge distances involved, the Pacific war was at first a series of defeats for the allies, but as their strength increased – especially America's – it became a wide-ranging air and naval war which took a heavy toll on the Japanese enemy. Assault after assault on Japanese-held islands began with amphibious landings, one of which occurred at Iwo Jima, selected because it was part of the Japanese homeland and its capture would damage Japan's morale. It was a prize target, too, because the fighter planes based there could escort the bombers all the way to Tokyo, to bring the war to the enemy. After 72 days of aerial bombing and three days of naval bombardment, 30,000 Marines swarmed ashore on its inhospitable beaches. Crossing the narrow neck of the island they pressed North from the beachhead and South up the slopes of Mt. Suribachi. On February 23, 1945, after three days of battle, Marines reached the top of Mt. Suribachi, where five Marines and a Navy Corpsman raised the American Flag. Immortalized in Joe Rosenthal's Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, it captured the vision of the ultimate victory. Iwo Jima was one of the most costly invasions of the war. It was fitting that the flag, so rarely seen in modern-day battle, was raised to their triumph. And it is fitting too, that this scene, cast in bronze by Felix de Weldon, guards the U.S National Cemetery at Arlington, Virginia, the last resting place of the nation's heroes of this commemorative.

This painting is available as a Fabric Panel. click here.

Date Created: 1977

Medium: Oil on board

Image Size: 16-3/4" x 17-3/4"


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 © 2001-2020. 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.