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"Road To Glory" by Mort Kunstler

Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Print

Image size: 15 1/4" x 29"

Edition size: 1500 S/N

Issue price: $200 (when sold out this will only be available on our secondary market--call then for current price and availability--800-237-6077)

While working on my Jackson and Lee book, I decided to portray Major Thomas J. Jackson, leading the Cadet Corps from VMI on April 21, 1861. It was a dramatic moment in the history of the Virginia Military Institute.

To research the painting, I met with Professor James Robertson, the foremost authority on Stonewall Jackson, and Colonel Keith Gibson of the VMI Museum in Lexington. Together we traced the exact actions of Jackson and the Corps of Cadets by walking the same route at the same time of day. I settled on this specific spot for a number of reasons. I wanted to depict the Main Barracks as a principal element in the painting, because of the angle and the lighting effect the sun would create at 11:30 a.m. By taking a low eye level, I was able to silhouette Jackson's head against the sky, adding clouds behind his head to create an even greater contrast for the dark of Jackson's hat and beard.

Major Raleigh Colston, a fellow VMI professor, accompanies Jackson as the color guard and Corps of Cadets march off to Richmond to help train recruits. The white VMI flag, the same as used today, leads the parade, while the Virginia State flag and the first national flag of the Confederacy fly above the Barracks building. It was a grand and exciting day for the community and the local citizens turned out in force to cheer their sons in a show of support.

In the background, the famous statue of George Washington by Houdin bears silent witness to the beginning of what would become the great and tragic drama of the American Civil War.

 

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