ICONIC PAINTING OF AN AMERICAN EAGLE IN FRONT OF A CIVIL WAR NAVAL SCENE, WITH A FLAG AND SHIELD IN A SOUTHERN-EXCLUSIONARY STAR COUNT, CA 1872-1890:
This breathtaking folk art oil-on-canvas depicts an iconic image of an American eagle in the foreground of a Civil War naval battle. To the left is a depiction of the famous battle between the U.S.S. Monitor and the U.S.S. Merrimack (C.S.S. Virginia), and to the left a three-masted sloop of war. The eagle holds a Grand Army of the Republic badge in its beak and a banner in its left talon, with a 24-star patriotic shield at its breast and a 24 star American national flag in its left talon. It is no coincidence that these two star counts are the same. This is a southern exclusionary star count, excluding the Southern States from the flag. It�s an end-of-the-war, official subtraction. 35 official stars less 11 states that had officially seceded equals 24. Although Lincoln pleaded with Americans not to remove stars from the flag, since his goal was to keep the Union together, some paid no heed to his order and removed the Confederate states. This is a very interesting feature to witness in an oil-on-canvas painting, especially in so bold a manner.
The work is, quite simply, one of the most striking folk art images of an eagle in this medium that I have ever seen. The colors are extraordinary. The surface has great craquelure and the ca 1840-1860, bird�s eye maple frame has a gilded liner.