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None to Caress

None to Caress

Regular price $225.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $225.00 USD
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This is Mort Künstler limited edition print - None to Caress - Jackson's Valley Campaign, May 5, 1862.

Paper Prints
Reproduction technique: Fine offset lithography on neutral pH archival quality paper using the finest fade-resistant inks.
Each print is numbered and signed by the artist and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Image Size: 25 ½” x 17” • Overall Size: 31 ½” x 22”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 350
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 50

Giclée Canvas Prints
Reproduction technique: Giclées are printed with the finest archival pigmented inks on canvas.
Each print is numbered and signed by the artist and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Signature Edition 27” x 18”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 50
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 10

Classic Edition 32” x 21”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 50
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 10

Premier Edition 39” x 26”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 15
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 5

Collector’s Edition 56” x 37”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 5
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 2

Historical Information
In the spring of 1862, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was embarking on what would become one of the most successful military campaigns of the entire Civil War, the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. During that time, over seventeen thousand Confederates marched more than six hundred miles to defeat four Union armies. One of the most overlooked aspects of this campaign was the active participation of young soldiers, many of them just “boys” according to today’s standards. Most of these cadets attended the Virginia Military Institute.

As a faculty member at VMI, Professor Jackson had established a reputation as a stern and sometimes difficult educator. His lectures on Natural and Experimental Philosophy & Artillery demanded great attention and his expectations of the students were legendary. As the war marched on, Jackson’s students observed their teacher’s lessons firsthand. It didn’t take long before they developed a great appreciation and eventually, a devotion to their commander after witnessing his faith and ferocity on the battlefield. Today, Jackson’s image has become a centerpiece on the grounds of the institution, inspiring generations of cadets. His words, “You may be whatever you resolve to be,” are inscribed over the arch entrance to the present-day VMI barracks.

During the first week of May in 1862, Jackson’s troops assembled in Staunton, Virginia. Cadet B. A. Colonna, whose accounts would be later published, recalled the warm reception they received. “The good people of Staunton treated us royally, and we had an excellent night’s rest.” He added on the next morning that, “Rations were issued and coffee served as usual. We cleaned up our clothes and made ourselves as presentable as we could ….”

That afternoon VMI cadets marched in formation in front of the stately Greek-style educational building at the Augusta Female Seminary while their commander looked on. Students at the institution, excited by the presence of the soldiers, received them with great enthusiasm. That evening they presented a musical program for the encamped troops. Cadet Colonna recalled the performance. “… one very pathetic song made the tears in my eyes. I remember some of the words: ‘No one to love, none to caress. Wandering alone through this world's wilderness.’”

These lyrics, and the account they inspired, captured the sadness of boys marching off to war. Unfortunately, many of the cadets from VMI would never return. According to the school’s own records, over 1,800 cadets served during the war, with 240 of these young boys making the supreme sacrifice. Jackson would also fall one year later, in May of 1863.

Historical text by Michael Aubrecht

Mort Künstler’s Comments
Last year, I visited beautiful Staunton, Virginia searching for a landmark building that I could use as a backdrop for a painting. Of all the places in the Old Dominion that I had portrayed over the course of my career, I had never painted Staunton in any of my Civil War pieces. With such a rich history, Staunton’s time was long overdue and I was very pleased when I came across the main building of Mary Baldwin College. This discovery initiated a series of events that led to this new painting, number V in my final series on the War Between the States.

Originally founded in 1842 as the Augusta Female Seminary, the school was renamed Mary Baldwin Seminary in 1895 in honor of Mary Julia Baldwin, one of the institution’s first students and its principal during the Civil War. The stately Main Building, located at the corner of Frederick Street and New Street still stands intact and in use, appearing much as it did during the war years. The title of the painting comes from a vivid account penned by Cadet B. A. Colonna of VMI of an event witnessed on the school grounds during the McDowell Campaign in the spring of 1862.

This extraordinary event took place when Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, a particularly favorite subject of mine, reviewed the Cadet Corps at the site of the Mary Baldwin Seminary. Fortunately we have the words of young Cadet Colonna, a firsthand participant who was emotionally moved by the memory enough to write a bittersweet account of a song that was performed on the occasion. Those mournful lyrics resonate and inspired the title of this painting.

The entire story of the cadet review was provided to me by the always-helpful Col. Keith Gibson, Director, Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Museum System. My dear friend, Dr. James I. (Bud) Robertson, Jr., the world’s foremost authority on “Stonewall” Jackson, also provided me with additional information and the basic idea for this painting. In his great biography of Gen. Jackson, Bud writes, “…on May 5 Jackson derived additional pleasure as the VMI cadets – some 200 strong – marched into Staunton in uniformed splendor. Not even a cold rain on the first day’s march spoiled the nattiness of their dress. Perhaps seeing the meticulously outfitted cadets made Jackson aware of his seedy appearance.”

One can only imagine the cheering and joy from the students at Augusta Female Seminary as the handsome young cadets marched by! Yet the romance of the moment was tempered by the harsh reality that with all the cheering girls so near, the cadets were marching off to war. “No one to love, none to caress…” How ironic. How true!

This is likely the last painting that I will ever do of “Stonewall” Jackson and the VMI cadets and I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it.

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