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Strain1

How about a Civil War print that includes Lee, Jackson, Davis, Sherman, Grant, and Lincoln in prayer together?  Would anyone buy it?  I am sort of imagining something like what happens on occasion at the end of a football game where members of rival teams briefly join in prayer. 

Print by John Paul Strain

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Did anyone else pick up shades of Blazing Saddles when you clicked on the link to the JPS homepage? How uproarious would the outrage in the Confederate heritage community be if we started making “General Lee is Near!” jokes?

I want to know how come old Powell Hill never gets included in these prints of the gathered ANV high command. Artists, stop featuring the Slumbering Volcano and the Marble Man and get cracking on giving Lee’s Forgotten General some face time!

Actually I’m pretty sure, given his views on religion, that old A.P. would be rolling his eyes at the prints of Jackson praying.

(In the interest of disclosure, I do have a framed smaller version of Strain’s “The Parting” featuring Hill on the wall behind my desk. It was a Christmas present. When it hung in my law office, clients would always ask me “who’s THAT?”)

Who are those ominous figures on the horizon? They may look like two ordinary mounted artillerymen pulling a caisson, but what does that symbolize? DEATH. Or maybe Golgotha, and they are meant to be Dismas and Gestas (Longstreet and Mahone). Iconography of the most textual and illuminating kind, make no mistake about it…

“Whose woods these are, I know full well,
That echo with the Rebel Yell.
He will not see me linger here
Beyond the range of shot and shell.

My little horse must think it queer
To find no servants standing near,
They’ve all run off for contraband
In foolish faith that they’d be freer.

In pious prayer the Generals’ stand,
Sing Kumbayah, all hand in hand,
These old gray ghosts won’t fade away
And haunt our long united land.

The woods are dreary, cold and gray,
In Dixie Land I’ll look away,
Paint what they want, and make it pay
Paint what they want, and make it pay.”

- With apologies to Robert Frost (even though he was a damn Yankee).

IMO pieces like this are little more than “calendar art” and DO NOT even come close to being historical art. I can understand the print market being slow with garbage like this being sold. ~Gary

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