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Maker(s):Homer, Winslow
Culture:American (1836-1910)
Title:The Army of the Potomac -- A Sharpshooter on Picket Duty
Date Made:published November 15, 1862
Materials:wood engraving on newspaper sheet
Measurements:Overall: 10 7/8 in x 16 3/16 in; 27.6 cm x 41.1 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1951.17
Credit Line:Museum Purchase
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Published in Harper's Weekly, VOl. VI, 15 Novemebr 1862, p. 724
Civil War

Label Text:
As artist-correspondent for the popular periodical Harper’s Weekly, the youthful Winslow Homer served as an insightful chronicler of the Civil War. Based on a painting of the same subject and published in the November 15, 1862, issue of the journal, his stark depiction of a Union sharpshooter perched in the fork of a tree branch betrays the increasingly anonymous nature of modern warfare. Advances in firearm technology allowed for greater precision over long distances, thereby somewhat diminishing the prevalence of hand-to-hand combat. Homer alluded to the growing anonymity of martial combat by obscuring the sharpshooter’s face. While many Northerners admired sharpshooters for their seemingly superhuman skill, Southerners typically regarded them as cruel and cowardly.

RRG, 2011


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