Friday, September 18, 2015

John Brown's Oath

Oil on stretched canvas, 22" x 20"
$900 plus $18 shipping in U.S.
Click image to enlarge

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The rabid abolitionist, John Brown, from my Civil War series of 1999-2000. Brown claimed that at age 12 he got a message from God to free the slaves. In the mid 1850's, he and several of his sons attacked and killed a number of slavery supporters in Kansas. In 1859, Brown led a small group in an attack on the Federal Arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. His aim was to steal weapons to arm slaves for a revolt. He was promptly captured and hanged.

This painting interprets an 1846 daguerreotype that shows him swearing an oath to oppose slavery. The old photos of Brown have always fascinated me; an intensity bordering on the pathological is barely disguised.

Here's a detail of the painting:




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