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"The Last Meeting" by Mort Kunstler

Signed & Numbered Limited Edition Print

The Official Legends In Gray Series - Third in a Series of Six Limited Edition Prints.

The last time Lee and Jackson met before before Jackson was mortally wounded. May 2, 1863, Chancellorsville

Image size: 19 1/2" x 27 3/4"

Edition: 1500 S/N

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

For years I had wanted to do a painting of the last meeting between General Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson. The Last Council, my painting of the last meeting between Lee, Jackson, and "JEB" Stuart, had been extremely well-received, so I felt a painting of the last meeting between Lee and Jackson, which occurred the morning after the The Last Council, would be a wonderful sequel. Finally, I had the opportunity to paint The Last Meeting this year as a part of our Lee and Jackson: Legends in Gray series.

Almost immediately, I was surprised to discover that research proved the last meeting between Lee and Jackson was vastly different from the traditional image of the event conveyed by the 1869 Everett B.D.F. Julio painting entitled The Last Meeting. Even though the artist obviously meant that painting to be romantic, it was so familiar that many of us had some form of the image in mind when we thought about the last meeting between Lee and Jackson.

Historic research proved otherwise, Dr. James Robertson Jr., the acclaimed Civil War scholar and the foremost authority on "Stonewall" Jackson, confirmed the results of my research: the real last meeting was nothing like the popular Julio painting. The two were not on horseback when they met for the last time. Jackson was mounted, but Lee was on foot. The meeting occurred early in the morning as Jackson was moving his troops through Virginia's Wilderness region on his famous flank march at Chancellorsville, Lee and his staff were standing near the road when Jackson passed. "Stonewall" rode over to confer briefly with his commanding officer, so Lee was on foot and Jackson remained mounted.

To me, it was almost as if Lee were the father, sending his favored son off to battle.

Lee would never see Jackson again. "Stonewall" would be mortally wounded in the coming battle, which was his most spectacular success and Lee's greatest victory. The dead trees, old stumps and broken branches in the the painting are not only typical of Virginia's Wilderness at that time, but to me they also convey the somber mood of two great friends and commanders meeting for the last time.

Lee and Jackson met on the north side of the road, which gave me the opportunity to look further to the east and obtain a dramatic lighting effect by having Jackson silhouetted against a dawn sky. The puddles are a reminder that it had rained the night before. Jackson's raincoat is painted from the one he actually wore that day, which is on display today at the Virginia Military Institute. Jackson's staff, in the right background, waits for their commander. Shown, left to right, are: Capt. Jedediah Hotchkiss, Dr. Hunter McGuire, Lt. Col. Alexander H. Pendleton, Maj. Wells J. Hawks, Capt. James Powers Smith and Maj. Henry Kyd Douglas. In the left background are Traveller and some of Lee's staff.

Painting history as it really occurred is the great challenge for a historical artist. It's exciting to break new ground with this painting by showing The Last Meeting as it really happened.

 

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