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"Chamberlains Charge" by Mort Kunstler

Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Print

6th and final painting in the "Killer Angels" setThe Official Killer Angels Portfolio - Sixth in a Series of Six Limited Edition Prints.

Little Round Top, Gettysburg, July 2, 1863

Image size: 17 1/2" x 28 1/2"

Edition size: 1500 S/N

Issue price: SOLD OUT (Only available on our secondary market -- call for current price and availability -- 800-237-6077)

For the sixth and final painting in the Killer Angels Portfolio I wanted to paint Colonel Joshua Chamberlain's charge down Little Round Top. However, there always seemed to be an obstacle in the way.

The first problem involved the deadline for the book, Gettysburg, which was done as the companion piece for the Turner motion picture. There was no way I could finish a major painting of Chamberlain in time for the book's June deadline, so I decided to do a study showing Chamberlain with the flag. This image appeared in the book and was later used as the center of interest in the final painting. Other commitments continually postponed completion of the Chamberlain work until early 1994. Then, finally, after more than a year, "Chamberlain's Charge" was finished.

The painting captures the moment, late in the afternoon of July 2, 1863, when Joshua L. Chamberlain led his famous bayonet charge. This gave me a chance to use the filtering sunlight through the wooded Little Round Top and to focus the attention on the heroic professor-turned-warrior, as he led his 20th Maine down the south-western slope of Little Round Top. The big boulder in the foreground is still a prominent landmark at the scene of the charge. The trees were different then, as depicted in the painting, but, like today, the forest there was a mixture of old and new growth.

The red Maltese Cross on the cap of the color bearer identifies him as a member of the First Division, V Corps. The "20" on his cap identifies the 20th Maine and the United States flag was the only banner carried by the regiment into battle that day. The dent in Chamberlain's scabbard shows where a bullet first hit before striking his leg - a deflection which saved him from a serious wound.

I can only hope this final painting of the series captures some of the drama, excitement and heroism of one the most critical moments of Gettysburg and the Civil War.

 

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