Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Coming Up For Auction
On September 28th, Mort Künstler’s Civil War painting We Still Love You General Lee, Just As Much As Ever is coming up for auction at Sotheby’s. This is only the second time a Künstler Civil War painting has gone to auction. The first painting, Keep to Your Sabers, Men! estimated to sell between $30,000 and $50,000, sold for a record price of $98,500.
We Still Love You General Lee was painted in 1982 and featured at a one-man show at Hammer Galleries in New York City. In 1989, before the painting was to be published as a Limited Edition Print, Künstler borrowed the original from its owner and made a number of minor changes he felt would improve it. Because of this, the painting is dated in the lower right corner as 82-89.
We Still Love You General Lee depicts the Confederate surrender on April 9th, 1865. Returning to his camp after meeting with U.S. Grant at Appomattox, Lee rides his beloved Traveller through the Southern lines. He wears a full dress uniform, sash, and ceremonial sword. He wanted to look his best for the encounter with Grant, which he had faced with characteristic dignity.
Although defeated, Lee had negotiated generous terms that paroled his men and allowed them to keep their horses. As he rides past them, the soldiers, many with tears in their eyes, cheer and press toward him, touching his leg or even his horse out of affection.
Pausing, Lee told his army, "Men, we have fought the war together, and I have done the best I could for you." He then doffed his hat, uttered a heartfelt good-bye, and returned to his tent. A tattered soldier turned in the ranks and shouted, "We still love you, General Lee!"
Posted by Mort Künstler