Surrender of a Confederate Soldier

image for Surrender of a Confederate Soldier
Gallery Label
At the age of fifteen, Julian Scott lied about his age to enlist in the Union army. He rose from drummer boy to infantryman, and for his service he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor. After his discharge he became an artist, initially focusing on images of heroic moments of sacrifice during the war. He painted this Confederate soldier with dignity. The raised white flag is simultaneously a surrender of the individual, his family, the Confederate cause, and the Southern way of life. The soldier’s wife cradles their infant child, while the enslaved man with them looks away, perhaps envisioning the changes in his own future. Scott imbued this work with respect for his Confederate counterpart, sounding a hopeful note for the future.
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Nan Altmayer
See more items in
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department
Painting and Sculpture
On View
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, East Wing
1873
Object number
2012.23
Artist
Julian Scott, born Johnson, VT 1846-died Plainfield, NJ 1901
Topic
Figure group
Occupation\military\soldier
History\United States\Civil War
Object\other\flag
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
19 3/8 x 15 1/2 in. (49.2 x 39.4 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Type
Painting