Art Showcase

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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.

Pearl Harbor Attack

Original Painting
Medium: Gouache
Size: 14-5/8" x 14"
Date painted: 1986

At the time, the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II was the most costly defeat ever suffered by the United States, but, as it proved, it was for the Japanese the most costly victory. Their infamous attack violated one of the major principles of warfare: if you strike a king, strike to kill. The attack on Pearl Harbor knocked out the Pacific fleet, but it did not knock out the United States; rather it united the American people and fired its will to victory as nothing else could have done. Within six months of Pearl Harbor, a reconstructed and vastly enlarged American navy inflicted on the Japanese at Midway their first naval defeat, and one from which they never recovered. Within one year, the nation the Japanese had hoped to knock out launched successful offensives in two quarters of the globe - the Solomon Islands and North Africa - and both were crowned with victory.

This painting was done for Fleetwood as part of the first day issue art series entitled "Mort Künstler's Epic Events in American History." It was released on December 7, 1986 – the 45th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.


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 © 2001-2019. 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.