Artist: Mort Kunstler
Title: Shenandoah Sunrise
Size: 17-1/4" x 28-1/2"
Edition: Paper Signed Artist's Proof, Limited Edition to 75. COA included.
Medium: Giclee on Paper
About the Art: When I first saw the Belle Grove mansion I realized it would make a wonderful backdrop for a painting. My first visit to the Cedar Creek Battlefield and Belle Grove Plantation was in the fall of 1992 as a guest of Will Feltner of the F&M Bank - Winchester.
Belle Grove and Cedar Creek are not only picturesque, they're also rich in the history of the War Between the States. In the early morning hours of October 19th, 1864, mist cloaked the area at sunrise. What an opportunity for an artist to paint an unusual lighting effect. Remarkably, when I visited Belle Grove that October morning 128 years later, I encountered the same kind of weather conditions! It was really inspirational.
The action around Belle Grove that day made a compelling story. Southern troops had just overrun the plantation, headquarters of the North's Gen. Phil Sheridan, and Confederate Gen. John B. Gordon had arrived at the site to direct operations. I could just imagine the scene with Gordon arriving in front of the distinctive Belle Grove mansion, while his Southern soldiers scrambled to take command of ground just evacuated by Northern troops. All this gave me the rare opportunity to show artillery, cavalry and infantry forces with the command staff in action in front of the beautiful mansion designed by Thomas Jefferson.
Adding to my pleasure in painting this memorable scene was the knowledge that early sales of the print of this painting would go to battlefield preservation at Belle Grove and Cedar Creek - thanks to the generosity of F&M Bank - Winchester.
All of this made painting Shenandoah Sunrise a challenge and a pleasure in many ways.