Alabama and Kearsarge Edouard Manet Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The Alabama and Kearsarge artistic naval seascape portrait is one of the paintings created by Edouard Manet during his professional career as a French artist.

It is one of those paintings which seamlessly integrate blue and green colors to showcase a real-life event simply and inclusively.

Manet did this painting following a Civil War that took place on 19th, June 1864 when a troop of United States Navy riding on a warship confronted and sank a Southern privateer.

Both at the top of this artistic work by Manet are the United States Navy warship known as Kearsarge and the Privateer known as Alabama.

Manet is believed to have relied on press descriptions to craft this great artwork as he was not available at the scenery as the fight took place.

He happens to be someone who loved to address matters global politics and Civil War through his artwork as he was the only artist who managed to paint a portrait of the event as it happened.

The painting displays a high level of creativity considering how it uses elevated skyline view to illustrate the outcome of the combat.

At the top area of this picture are the two warships masked in a mist of smoke. The small boat at the center of the portrait that has crashed with the blue and gray sea turquoise happens to be a local pilot boat that was coming to rescue the sailors and warlords in the sinking Alabama.

It is quite amazing how Manet uses Turner’s best themes to develop a fantastic artwork out of mere press descriptions.

His portrait showcases a more a peace-driven and restful battle than a war-oriented one. Of course, there are signs of wars like the dark mists of clouds, shuddering effects, and the fearful suggestions but they have less significance to the purpose of the portrait.

The war by Alabama and Kearsarge is not the only artwork by this celebrated artist as he also did hundreds of other artworks that are still loved and cherished today.

Other works by Edouard Manet which you also want to have a look are The Old Musician, The surprised nymph, The Spanish Singer, The Dead Christ With Angels, Dead Matador, Woman With A Parrot, The Tragic Actor, The Guitar Player and much more.