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.



Longstreet's Reluctance

General Longstreet was a reserved and conservative Commander who wasn't necessarily forthcoming with his views. But, he was with Lee. Here we see his oiled flowing beard, doubtful eyes, pursed lips, and posture leaning slightly backward; the reluctant look Longstreet may have had when alone thinking about and viewing what was to come; contemplating Lee's utter resolve to follow through with Pickett's Charge to break the center of the Union Line - and the destruction of Confederate Infantry Longstreet was sure would happen when it assaulted the Union's Strong Defensive Position on Cemetery Ridge.

Historical accounts during and in the long years afterward chronicle General James Longstreet's advice to Lee to flank the southern portion of The Fishhook instead of making "The Grande Charge". Lee thought and ordered otherwise - was defeated - and we now think of Pickett's Charge as the "High Water Mark of the Confederacy"... ...a glorious but militarily sad moment for the South.

Note that Longstreet's portrait is darker, Lee's portrait lighter, and that Longstreet faces the opposite direction... ...sensitives of an illustrator who appreciates history as it was - not what we necessarily want it to be.

Time Of Execution: 10 Hours
Technique / Media: Graphite, Prisma-Color, gouache on gray paper.
Size: 11" x 14"

Scott WileyGettysburg8th TennesseeCleburne's DivisionEwell's 2nd CorpsPickett's ChargeThe Grande Charge150th Gettysburg Reenactment IllustrationdrawingLongstreetportraitslideshowDoc Wileydw