Friday, November 11, 2016

"Dawn Before Gettysburg" (1938), by Edward Hopper

[Veteran's Day Facebook Post, November 11, 2016]
On this Veteran's Day we wanted to share Edward Hopper's painting "Dawn before Gettysburg" (1938). It belongs to the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art in Alabama, where it is shown in the Civil War Gallery.

Hopper calls up the memory of the bloodiest battle that took place in the Civil War. Fifty-one thousand men lost their lives, almost a third of the men who participated. Hopper does not create a violent bloody scene, but conveys to the viewer a great feeling of anticipation. Nine soldiers are seated on a grassy bank along a dirt road in front of a white house trimmed in blue with a white picket fence. The tenth soldier stands looking off into the distance. 

There is stillness in the air as the sun begins to rise. Each man is engaged in some activity, one is tying his shoe, and another has fallen asleep.

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