Gettysburg Illustrations - WileyStudio

Doc reenacted as a Battlefield Illustrator-Photographer, and Dixie as an Ice Angel-Photographer. Eventually, the full color, black and white, and period-style Illustrations will cover most key events and personages of the battle held to be the turning point of the American Civil War.

INTERESTING NOTES ON CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELD ILLUSTRATORS: Alfred Waud, Frank Vizetelly, and other Civil War Battlefield Illustrators were civilian artists who produced artworks as they followed both Union and Confederate Armies throughout the war. Their initial quick battlefield sketches were further developed in camp, then sent by horse couriers or blockade runners for conversion into engravings in publications such as Harper's Weekly, The New York Illustrated News, and The Illustrated London News. In this way, live action battlefield events were brought to American and European audiences quickly - for the time - and made the Civil War the first conflict viewable in history as it unfolded. Photography was a new technology - so the photographic work of Gardner and Brady was not yet reproducible in printed publications. In addition, camera shutter speeds were slow and not capable of capturing live action - which is why the photography of the time tended to capture after-battle scenes, portraits, and static images - making the work of battlefield illustrators the only way to convey battlefield live action scenes. Illustrators like Waud and Vizetelly lived frequently with front line troops and were in much personal peril as they worked. A typical up to 30-minute pencil sketch was further rendered in camp or in the field then sent in to a publisher in as few as two days where the conversion into wood block or metal plate engravings were made by a team of artists for printing and distribution to a waiting public. Waud, following the Army Of The Potomac worked for Northern publications and could get his work published fairly quickly, but Vizetelly - following the Army Of Northern Virginia - faced the added constraint of having to send his work to The Illustrated London News via blockade runners from Wilmington, North Carolina. Of interest; there was a Northern Bounty on both Vizetelly AND his work - as it was considered propaghanda against the north. Such was the commitment of Battlefield Illustrators and publishers at the time. Illustrated newspapers with Civil War Battlefield Scenes were in very high demand and sometimes sold more than 300.000 copies per issue.

Glass Aftermath

150th Gettysburg Reenactment Illustration

A different point of view: The defeated Confederate Army Of Northern Virginia beyond Seminary Ridge is viewed from the cupola of the Lutheran Seminary through a Union Signal Telescope in the early evening of July 3, 1863. Hence the name: “Glass Aftermath”. The illustration was “built” from on-location reenactment sketches and photos posted in our other galleries on this website, as well as historical images. Union Cavalry General Buford had been in this very cupola with binoculars looking at the Confederate advance on the outset of the battle on July 1st.

The furled Stars And Bars on stacked rifles with fixed bayonets, exhausted and wounded Confederate Soldiers, field surgeons at work, hasty encampments, and pending rain all contribute to the feel of this somber after-battle moment. Pickett’s Charge and the three-day Confederate effort had failed. The soldiers are dirty; faces grimed with powder from the constant use of firearms; uniforms worn and in disarray. Blood-soaked bandages, bare feet, removed boots, and a scattering of equipment help portray what surely was a hard moment to bear. Interspersed throughout the sketch-like illustration are lens flares stemming from the western view into the setting sun; the interior of the telescope providing vignetting.

Time Of Execution: 40 Hours
Technique / Media: Contour Line Graphite, Prismacolor and Ink on Illustration Board
Size: 12” x 18”

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