Artwork of the Week: November 8th, 2021
CAPTAIN WILLIAM MADIGAN WILLIAM MORRIS HUNT c.1866 Oil on canvas 141.6 x 91.4 cm (55 3/4 x 36″) (Image) Frame: 163.2 x 112.7 cm (64 1/4 x 44 3/8″) Country: North America, USA Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Dr. and Mrs.
Jack Stoddard Johnson.
In honor of the Veterans who served this nation in the name of freedom.
An ardent supporter of the Union, William Morris Hunt produced many portraits of Civil War veterans, such as this work painted from a photograph after Captain Madigan’s 1862 death in the battle at Gaines Mill, Virginia. The horn on his cap, an emblem for Union officers, encircles the number nine of his infantry unit. The animated brushwork and poetic feel of this posthumous portrait are a result of Hunt’s training with the famous French history painter Thomas Couture and the tutelage of Jean-François Millet. Depicted in the prime of life, Hunt posed Madigan standing confidently in his uniform, rising above the horizon, and framed by the overcast sky implying a worthy sacrifice for a noble cause: freedom for all.