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Gerrit Beneker painting: 'Gettysburg'

Discussion in 'Artwork of the American Civil War' started by Forrest, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. Forrest

    Forrest Sergeant

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    H19427-L135934872.jpg 128-475 2.jpg
    Here is a watercolor study I just acquired, done by Gerrit Beneker in 1911. I was buying some other paintings of his and just thought this one was kind of interesting. I don't know anything about it, but I assume that is Lee in the foreground, Lincoln in the clouds to the right and I just noticed the soldiers that form the rest of the cloud background.
     
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  3. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Interesting image of an elderly Lee remembering
     
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  4. infomanpa

    infomanpa First Sergeant

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    Despite the fact that Lee was not quite that "elderly." He died at age 63.
     
  5. Jimklag

    Jimklag Major Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    I think the elderly gent in fron is just a generic veteran remembering the battle.
     
  6. captaindrew

    captaindrew 2nd Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner Member of the Month

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    Cool painting, I like it.
     
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  7. James N.

    James N. Major Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Almost surely, but I like the painting regardless who it's intended to be!
     
  8. TheFinder

    TheFinder Private

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    Very cool piece. Are the other watercolors Gettysburg/Civil War related? Or was this one that just stood out?
     
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  9. Jimklag

    Jimklag Major Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    Me too.
     
  10. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    Nice painting. I thought soldier in front was just a veteran.
     
  11. Jimklag

    Jimklag Major Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    Also, whether by accident or intent, the artist has created an optical illusion. When I look at it, I can't tell if Lincoln is looking into the distance or is looking at the old veteran.
     
  12. Mrs. V

    Mrs. V Sergeant

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    What a wonderful picture.
     
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  13. dixie1861

    dixie1861 Private

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    That is hauntingly beautiful.
     
  14. christian soldier

    christian soldier First Sergeant

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    This is a very fascinating and rather interesting painting of Gettysburg. Thanks for sharing it with the forum. David.
     
  15. Forrest

    Forrest Sergeant

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    This was the only Civil War related painting in the auction, and I couldn't find any other Civil War related paintings that he did. Fortunately it was one of the late lots and I had lost out on most of the paintings I was counting on acquiring, so I had quite a bit of room to bid on this one. Benneker was known for his industrial paintings.
     
  16. Forrest

    Forrest Sergeant

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    That could be. I assumed Lee because to me it looked like he does in his later photographs where he is often holding a cane and a hat and wearing a long coat. Also, it works well having Lincoln and Lee opposing each other in the painting, each contemplating the battle and the war. On the other hand, Beneker painted it in 1911 and if it represented Gettysburg in 1911 the foreground character would be the proper look for an old soldier who was in his 20's during the battle.

    Beneker did a lot of magazine photos, so it's likely that this was a study for something in a magazine article about the Civil War, given that he did no other Civil War paintings that I can find. If someone runs across the article, the context will likely answer the 'Lee or old veteran' question.
     
  17. TheFinder

    TheFinder Private

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    Interesting. Odd that he only had one Civil War painting (possibly). Congrats again on scoring that one! It's a beaut!
     
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  18. mofederal

    mofederal Captain

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    I like the watercolor, it is very interesting. I like the way it is done. thank you for posting this @Forrest. That's a real gem.
     
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  19. Brenal

    Brenal First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    I really like that, great find.
     
  20. Forrest

    Forrest Sergeant

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    It's not really that odd - he did a lot of paintings for magazine articles, so this could have been one he submitted for pay and it just happened to be for a Civil War article. Civil War articles requiring art might not have been very popular in the 1910's. Most of the paintings in the auction were watercolor studies and several of them had Beneker's notes on them;generally, 'return to' with his address, but also sometimes something like 'paid $60', etc. There were even some final proof sheets of magazine cover art, some with 'return to' on the back. Beneker was a Provincetown artist and this auction was run out of Provincetown by an extremely small auction house (perhaps 1-2 people), so I assume it was basically an estate sale of the studies and proofs that Beneker had saved.

    My pleasure in posting the image. I was hoping (long shot) that someone here would see it and post something similar by Beneker. I don't know if it is a study or a finished piece - I would guess 'study', as it isn't very detailed, but I can't find the finished piece if it exists. If anyone has an old Vicksburg-related piece of art, I might be interested in trading - the only Civil War stuff I collect are related to Vicksburg.
     
  21. Forrest

    Forrest Sergeant

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    To give you an idea of how different these studies could be from the final piece, here is a study next to the final proof for a Scientific American cover - I ended up with both and plan on framing them together. Some of the studies were very rough and very different from the final covers, but were still submitted to the magazine for approval of a cover that no one could have had that much of an idea what it would look like. Of course, they were amazing and he had a great reputation:

    43-45 combined.jpg
     

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