Love & War~ May 16

The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West

On September 13, 1759, during the Seven Years’ War (1756-63) [known in the United States as the French and Indian War], the British General James Wolfe achieved a dramatic victory; Wolfe was fatally wounded during the battle, but his victory ensured British supremacy in Canada.

Benjamin West, Self-portrait 1770

Benjamin West (October 10, 1738-March 11, 1820) was an Anglo-American history painter around and after the time of the American War of Independence and the Seven Years’ War.

Extremely popular among the 18th-century British aristocracy and royalty, Benjamin West’s work is primarily composed of commissioned portraits and history paintings. West is best known for his 1770 painting The Death of General Wolfe, which caused a stir when it was displayed at the Royal Academy because the figures were shown wearing contemporary clothing rather than classical garb.

Besides the original, at least four other additional versions of The Death of General Wolfe were also produced by West. The primary copy of The Death of General Wolfe is currently in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, with further examples at the Royal Ontario Museum (Canadiana art collection), as well as the University of Michigan Museum of Art. The fourth copy produced resides at Ickworth House, Suffolk, England. Each reproduction had its own variation in the depiction of Wolfe’s death. A fifth autograph copy was commissioned by George III in 1771 and is still in the Royal Collection.

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Love & War~ May 14

Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller
“Peace Halting the Ruthlessness of War”

1917 / Bronze cast sculpture / 14”x16 3/4”x9”/ Private collection

Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (June 9, 1877-March 18, 1968) was…a multi-talented artist who wrote poetry, painted, and sculpted but was most noted for her sculpture. Warrick was a protegé of Auguste Rodin…Warrick is considered a forerunner of the Harlem Renaissance.

In May, 1917, Meta Warrick Fuller took second prize in a competition under the auspices of the Massachusetts Branch of the Woman’s Peace Party, her subject being “Peace Halting the Ruthlessness of War.” War is personified as on a mighty steed and trampling to death numberless human beings. In one hand he holds a spear on which he has transfixed the head of one of his victims.

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Download a pdf file of “AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN The Life and Art Of Meta Warrick Fuller” here:

Love & War~ May 12

The Apotheosis of Athanasios Diakosby Konstantinos Parthenis

c.1933 / Oil on canvas / 150”x150” / National Art Gallery and Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens

Konstantinos Parthenis (1878-1967), Greek painter

Athanasios Diakos was a hero of the Greek War of Independence*. Prior to the war he entered a monastery and was ordained a deacon (“diakos” in the Greek language). One day a Turkish pasha came to his monastery and made some crude remarks about his good looks. Diakos slew him and fled to the mountains. He join a band of klephts under Odysseus Androutsos, who made him second in command. Eventually, he headed his own band.  In April 1821, Omer Vrioni, the commander of the Turkish army, advanced with 9,000 men from Thessaly to crush the revolt in Peloponnesus. At the ensuing Battle of

Athanasios Diakos

Alamana, Diakos’ men fought for several hours before they were overwhelmed. The wounded Diakos was taken to Vrioni. Vrioni offered to make Diakos an officer in his army but Diakos refused and replied “I was born a Greek and I will die a Greek”.Vrioni then ordered that Diakos be impaled on a spit and roasted over a fire. As he was about to die onlookers heard him sing “Look at the time Charon chose to take me, now that branches are flowering, now that the earth sends forth grass” referring to the Greeks’ uprising against the Turks.

*War of Greek Independence, (1821–32), rebellion of Greeks within the Ottoman Empire, a struggle which resulted in the establishment of an independent kingdom of Greece.

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Love & War~ May 10

Fifteen officers of the 17th Regiment of Foot posed on a hill at camp, 1855

Roger Fenton (1819-1869)

Photograph of Roger Fenton (1819-1869) dressed in traditional Zouave costume.

…the British government hired photographer Roger Fenton to travel to Crimea and create some of the first war photographs in history. He arrived in March 1855 and stayed for 3.5 months.

While the sight of soldiers with a sketchbook as well as the occasional artist was not uncommon in the Crimea, the idea of a photographer ‘at the seat of war’ was new. Consequently, Fenton was pestered by troops wanting their ‘likeness’ taken, so much so that he noted he would ‘dread the sight of English officers riding up to my van’.

The Valley of the Shadow of Death, 1855

In the course of a single decade, Fenton had played a pivotal role—by advocacy and example—in demonstrating that photography could rival drawing and painting not only as a means of conveying information, but also as a medium of visual delight and powerful expression.

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Love & War~ May 8

John Tinney McCutcheon (1870-1949)

John T. McCutcheon, in full John Tinney McCutcheon, (born May 6, 1870, South Raub, Indiana, U.S.—died June 10, 1949, Lake Forest, Illinois), American newspaper cartoonist and writer…He received a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for a cartoon dealing with bank failure.

After graduating from Purdue with a B.S. degree in 1889, McCutcheon moved to Chicago and was hired to work for the Chicago Morning News (later known as the Chicago Record) as an artist. He began doing front page cartoons for the newspaper in 1895. In 1903, McCutcheon joined the staff of the Chicago Tribune and served in capacities as both an editorial cartoonist and occasional foreign correspondent until his retirement in 1946.

Although McCutcheon is best known for his illustration work, he also served as a Chicago Tribune correspondent for the Spanish American War, the Philippine insurrection, the South African (Boer) War and World War I, from both the German and Allied fronts.

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Love & War~ May 6

The Battle of the USS “Kearsarge” and the CSS “Alabama”
Édouard Manet (1832-1883)
1864 / Oil on canvas / 54 1/4”x50 3/4” / Philadelphia Museum of Art

During the American Civil War, the United States warship Kearsarge made headlines after sinking the Confederate raider Alabama off the coast of France. Manet did not witness firsthand the widely-covered event but devoted two paintings to the subject: a scene of the naval battle (Philadelphia Museum of Art) and [The “Kearsarge” at Boulogne, 1864, The Met], prompted by his subsequent visit to the victorious ship at anchor near Boulogne. They were his first depictions of a current event.

Although he did not witness the historic battle, Manet made a painting of it partly as an attempt to regain the respect of his colleagues after having been ridiculed for his works in the 1864 Salon. Manet’s picture of the naval engagement and his portrait of the victorious Kearsarge belong to a group of his seascapes of Boulogne whose unorthodox perspective and composition would profoundly influence the course of French painting.

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Love & War~ May 4

Take-Off: Interior of a Bomber Aircraft / c.1943 / Oil on canvas / 72”x60” / Imperial War Museums, UK

Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970)

Laura Johnson, the youngest of the three daughters of Charles Johnson and his wife, Charlotte Bates, was born in Long Eaton on 4th August 1877. Her father left the family when she was a child and was brought up by her mother who taught art in a local school.

A talented artist, Laura entered Nottingham School of Art when she was fourteen. While there she met Harold Knight and was deeply influenced by his work…Laura married Knight in June, 1903. Knight established herself as the most important woman artist in Britain and in 1936 became the first woman to be elected to the Royal Academy since 1760. During the Second World War Laura became an official war artist. She was also sent to cover the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

Self Portrait aka The Model 1913 – Dame Laura Knight

Photographs of Dame Laura Knight

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Love & War~ May 2

Princeton Battle Monument (1922)

This limestone monument was designed by the prominent Beaux Arts sculptor Frederick MacMonnies with the help of architect Thomas Hastings. Commissioned in 1908, it was finished and dedicated in 1922, with President Harding in attendance. On the sides of the monument are the seals of the United States and the original thirteen states, including New Jersey. The creation of the monument served to commemorate the Battle of Princeton, which took place on January 3, 1777. The sculpture depicts Washington leading his troops into battle, as well as the death of General Hugh Mercer.

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