Veterans Day: America’s 9 Most Epic War Artworks

From master painters to contemporary artists, see the best American war artworks.

In honor of those who have served (and serve) in the U.S Armed Forces, we’ve put together (in no particular order) America’s 9 most epic war artworks of all time.

1. Emanuel Leutze, George Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851)
When one thinks of epic American war artworks, George Washington Crossing the Delaware is the image that flashes across everyone’s mind. With the first president standing one leg propped, face in profile and sword in clear view, this painting depicts a surprise attack planned by the famous president on the Hessian forces in Trenton, New Jersey.

george-washington-delaware-1851

Emanuel Leutze, George Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851).
Wikipedia.

 

2. Frederic Edwin Church, Our Banner in the Sky (1861)
Edwin Church’s painting was his political statement in defense of the Union when the Confederate attacked Fort Sumter in April 1861. The vivid orange sky represents the Union flag with a bare tree stick as the flagpole.

Frederic Edwin Church, Our Banner in the Sky (1861). Photo: Courtesy Smithsonian.

Frederic Edwin Church, Our Banner in the Sky (1861).
Smithsonian.

3. Benjamin West, The Death of General Wolfe (1771)
Anglo-American painter, Benjamin West depicts the British General James Wolfe during the 1775 Battle of Quebec of the Seven Year’s War.

Benjamin West, The Death of General Wolfe(1770). Photo: via Wikipedia.

Benjamin West, The Death of General Wolfe(1771).
Wikipedia.

4. Roy Lichtenstein, Whaam! (1963)
The famous pop artist’s work was inspired by a comic book called All American Men of War. Whaam!’s stylized imagery depicting air battle was painted during the Vietnam War.

lichtenstein-whaam!-1963

Roy Lichtenstein, Whaam! (1963).
BBC.

5. Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want (1943)
Rockwell’s iconic series, “Four Freedoms”, inspired by a speech made by then President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, includes three other works titled, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, and Freedom from Fear. Roosevelt’s speech in which he articulated the four fundamental freedoms, was delivered 11 months before America declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941.

Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want(1943). Photo: via Wikipedia.

Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want (1943).
Photo: via Wikipedia.

6. Alfred Eisenstaedt, The Kiss (1945)
Eisenstaedt’s iconic photo of a US Navy veteran kissing a nurse was taken on August 14, 1945 in Times Square, New York, at the announcement of the end of WWII.

Alred Eisenstaedt, The Kiss (1945). Photo: courtesy BBC.

Alfred Eisenstaedt, The Kiss (1945). Photo: courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

7. John Trumbull, Death of General Montgomery at the Attack on Quebec (1786)
Trumbull’s painting depicts General Montgomery’s gallant but disastrous attempt to capture Quebec city during the Invasion of Canada in 1775, the first major military initiative by the newly formed Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

John Trumbull, Death of General Montgomery at the Attack on Quebec (1786). Photo: via Wikipedia.

John Trumbull, Death of General Montgomery at the Attack on Quebec (1786).
Photo: via Wikipedia.

8. Barnaby Furnas, Untitled (Antietam) (2008)
Contemporary American painter and former graffiti artist, Barnaby Furnas’s work portrays the civil war, in a video-game-esque manner, with the Union and the Confederates on either side meeting in a clash of rifles and bullets. Creating his own style of ultra-violence, Furnas’s semi-abstract work uses a traditional medium in a completely modern way.

Barnaby Furnas, Untitled (Antietam) (2008). <br<Photo: Courtesy Marianne Boesky.

Barnaby Furnas, Untitled (Antietam) (2008). 
Marianne Boesky.

9. Joe Rosenthal, Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (1945)
American photographer Joe Rosenthal captured five American soldiers raising a U.S flag atop Mount Suribachi when they successfully captured the Japanese island, Iwo Jima. This photograph won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography the same year it was published.

Joe Rosenthal, Untitled (1945). Photo: Courtesy CNN

Joe Rosenthal, Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima (1945). Photo: Courtesy CNN

 


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