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"Follow Me" by Mort Kunstler

Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Print

The Official Lee's Lieutenants Series - First in a Series of Six Limited Edition Prints.

Image Size: 18 3/8" x 28 1/2"

Edition size: 1750 S/N

One of the most difficult problems an artist can face is to do a scene that has been done many times before. The new painting automatically calls for comparison with the other works. Such a scene is General Lewis Armistead, hat on his sword, leading his Southern brigade over the stone wall on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg. I accepted this challenge when I undertook the Gettysburg book from the Turner organization as a companion to their now famous movie.

Since Pickett's Charge is one of the climactic moments of the Battle of Gettysburg, I decided to depict it step by step in the book. I did seventeen paintings and drawings from the call to attention to the final repulse. Of all the situations that I did with Armistead leading his troops. I felt "Follow Me!" was the most dramatic moment. I had done a finished pencil drawing that I used as a study for the mixed media painting that appears in the book, and after all of this, decided to do a major oil painting.

The final version of "Follow Me!" is different than the image in the book. I used the sunlight, in the west or left of the painting, to break through the smoke and catch the tops of the two battle flags and Armistead, which calls dramatic attention to the center of interest. The smoke in the background was used to heighten this effect as well. I eliminated one figure in the center foreground so there would be no distraction from Armistead.

I hope all the effort and work involved in producing this painting achieves my goal of preserving one of the most dramatic moments of the Civil War.


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