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“Surrender of a Confederate Soldier” by Julian Scott

Surrender of a Confederate Soldier - Smithsonian American Art Museum

“Surrender of a Confederate Soldier” by Julian Scott depicts a wounded soldier of the Confederate States Army in the American Civil War waiving a flag of surrender. The soldier is accompanied by a black man, presumed to be the soldier’s slave, and a woman holding an infant presumed to be his wife and child. The painting does not glorify war and instead, it shows the suffering and human sacrifice associated with war.

Painted in the Union States of the North, this painting is part of a genre of images that depicted the emotional trauma of the South’s defeat, the uncertainty of their future, and the possibility of a peaceful long-term reconciliation between the North and South.

Scott was a Civil War artist, who served as a Union Army drummer during the American Civil War, where he received America’s highest military decoration the Medal of Honor for his actions in battle.

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Essential Facts:

  • Title:                 Surrender of a Confederate Soldier
  • Artist:               Julian Scott
  • Year:                 1873
  • Medium:          Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions     19.5 × 15.5 in (49.5 × 39.4 cm)
  • Museum:          Smithsonian American Art Museum

Artist Essential Facts:

  • Name:                    Julian A. Scott
  • Born:                     1846 – Johnson, Vermont
  • Died:                      1901 (aged 55) – Plainfield, New Jersey
    Nationality:          American
  • Notable works:
    • Surrender of a Confederate Soldier

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“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” Claude Monet

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Photo Credit: 1) Julian Scott [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons