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Maker(s):Forbes, John Edwin
Culture:American (1839-1895)
Title:The Drummer Boy
Date Made:ca. 1867
Materials:oil on canvas
Measurements:whole: 12 x 10 in.; 30.48 x 25.4 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1946.129
Credit Line:Museum Purchase
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

genre; Civil War

Label Text:
New York City native Edwin Forbes worked as an artist-correspondent for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper throughout the war. While the artist captured some of the war’s most dramatic and important battles, he mostly documented the more mundane daily lives and activities of soldiers away from the frontlines, as The Drummer Boy suggests. Forbes adapted this composition from a drawing from 1863 of a boy resting at camp in Culpeper, Virginia, but he further animated the painted scene by depicting him cooling a cup of coffee and holding a piece of paper, possibly a letter from home. In both images, the boy’s loose-fitting uniform accentuates his youth.

RRG, 2011

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