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Eastman Johnson
A Ride for Liberty - The Fugitive Slaves
1863
Oil on board

22 x 26.25 "


Brooklyn Museum of Art

The young American painter Eastman Johnson based this dramatic image on a scene of fleeing slaves that he witnessed on March 2, 1862, while traveling with Union troops at Centerville, Virginia.  Although a number of American painters spent time with Civil War regiments, few recast their observations and sketches as finished paintings.  The painting demonstrates Johnson's own sympathy for the abolitionist cause, notably at a moment in the early months of 1862 when Union troops were beset by serious losses, and it remains one of the most moving images created by any American artist during the Civil War.




This information is brought to you through project support made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.




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