News from the Front
Oil on canvas
Overall: 20 x 24 1/16 x 7/8 in. ( 50.8 x 61.1 x 2.2 cm )
inscriptions: Verso stenciled: "20 X 24/Prepared/By Edwd Dechaux/New York".
During the Civil War, northern women’s organized efforts included knitting and sewing items for troops. Homefront and battlefield converge in this genre painting, which portrays women taking active interest in wartime developments within the domestic realm. With her knitting project in the immediate foreground, a fashionable young woman sits in the parlor of her middle class home reading a front-page article in The New York Times on General Ulysses S. Grant’s movements. Her husband, a wounded Union infantry captain on leave, sits beside her. His bandages, and his grave and anxious expression, are reminders of the war’s physical and emotional consequences. Though an imaginary scene, the newspaper’s specificity lends realism; the legible volume number notionally depicts an everyday moment taking place in 1863 or 1864.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.