"Last Council" by Mort Kunstler

Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Print

Jackson, Lee, & Stuart at Chancellorsville, May 1, 1863

Image size: 17 1/2" x 22 1/2"

Edition Size: 1500 S/N

Issue price: SOLD OUT--only available on the secondary market--call for price and availability--800-237-6077)

I had always wanted to paint the great Confederate heroes Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson together. But since their last meeting together, the famous "Cracker Box" Conference on May 1, 1863 at Chancellorsville had been painted by a number of artists at that time, I gave up on that as an idea. However, on reading James McPherson's book Battle Cry For Freedom, I learned for the first time that J.E.B Stuart had arrived earlier in the evening with the startling news that the Union right flank was "in the air" and not anchored by any natural barrier. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to show not two, but three of the Confederate greats in one picture. As far as I knew, the moment I wanted to paint had not been done before. The lighting effects were difficult but dramatic, if I could make it come off. The warm firelight, with the chilled moonlight as a contrast could be perfect for telling the story. Because of Jackson's famous reputation as a strategist, I chose to have him suggesting the planned attack Lee, the great decision maker should of course, be the center of interest. The cavalry in the rear are part of Stuart's entourage who have just ridden in with the news of Union troop movements.

A few hours later, Jackson was shot accidentally by his own men. He died May 10, 1863.

The Battle of Chancellorsville turned out to be Lee's greatest victory, as well as his greatest loss.

 

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