What’s Wrong With A.P. Hill?

I’m sure this scene titled “Tender is the Heart” by Mort Kunstler has some basis in fact, but why would you want to paint it?

Add Thomas Forehand’s The Softer Side of Robert E. Lee and you’ll be crying your eyes out for the foreseeable future.

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9 comments… add one

  • Phil LeDuc Nov 10, 2008

    I’m sure that I have no painting talent at all – even my wife does the painting of the interior of the house – so I acknowledge that Mort Kunstler has much more illustrative talent than I do. But – honest to god – that looks like something out of a comic book.

  • Brooks Simpson Nov 10, 2008

    I’m sure it was painted because Mort believed someone would buy it. What’s absent is the fact that when the baby wet herself, Lee blamed Longstreet for taking too long to come up and relieve him of the child. Or so Jubal Early tells us in his children’s book, “The Gentle Gentleman General Lee, and How Longstreet Betrayed Him, by One of Lee’s Greatest and Most Loyal Generals.”

    You sure like this art, dontcha? Wait until the gallery opens in Wasilla, with proceeds donated to Todd’s Alaskan Independence Party. Betcha gotcha.

  • ari Nov 11, 2008

    I really am laughing out loud.

  • Kevin Levin Nov 11, 2008

    Brooks, — I’ve admitted a few times that I own a number of prints by Don Troiani, which hang in my office. I consider them to be more on the line of investments considering that I have doubled my money. That said, at least Troiani pays attention to uniforms and weapons, in addition to the realities of the battlefield. Kunstler reminds me of that dude who paints cozy little outdoor scenes and homes that look like gingerbread homes. Whenever I see one of his battle scenes my first reaction is usually, “That looks like fun.”

  • matthew mckeon Nov 11, 2008

    It’s the equivalent of Soviet era social realism. The battle scenes have little gore or dismemberment, and while every shoelace is rendered with historic accuracy, the consciously heroic postures have the realism of a Sgt. Rock comic. Compare Kunstler or Troiani with World War II era artists like Tom Lea or Kerr Eby.

    Don Troiani does work hard at getting the details right, and is obviously much more accomplished then Kunstler. In the 70s he did a series of watercolor and ink painting of Revolutionary battles for American Heritage magazine. The best of these show confused scenes of shabby Americans trying to form up, distracted by the bustle of officers, drummers, messengers, wounded; a convincing snapshot of an 18th century army. Less finished looking then his oils, some of them seem truer.

    Let’s commission Troiani to paint “Civil War field hospital, July 3rd, 1863″ instead of the umpteeth Pickett’s Charge.

  • TF Smith Nov 11, 2008

    What’s wrong With A.P. Hill?

    The clap?

  • Lizzie Dietzen Nov 12, 2008

    [I took the liberty of moving this comment from the old typepad site, which is why you see my avatar.]
    I would like to see an acclaimed Civil War artist paint Grant or Sherman holding a tiny christian child.

    I suppose many would think that Grant would be too drunk to hold it while Sherman would try and burn it.

    At any rate, still enjoy both Kunstler’s and Troiani’s artwork.

  • Karen Cox Nov 12, 2008

    My comment must have gotten lost in the shuffle. I think I said something like “Confederate schmaltz sells!”

  • Kevin Levin Nov 12, 2008

    Thanks Karen. I think a few comments were lost in the migration.

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