Thomas Nast Pictures

 

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Thomas Nast was one of the most popular artists of the 1800's.  He specialized in political cartoons and satirical prints.  This section is dedicated to some of the best and most collected, original Thomas Nast Prints. Each leaf is from an original Civil War Harper's Weekly. Click on the pictures to get a closer look.

compromise with the south

Compromise with the South

This is one of the most poignant and touching of all Civil War prints.  The leaf was printed in September, 1864, two months before the election.  At this time the Union had grown weary of the war, and the grisly toll it had taken on the country. Few thought that Abraham Lincoln had much of a chance of wining reelection. 

This illustration makes a political statement that captures the mood of the nation at the time. The print is titled, "Compromise with the South", and the caption reads, "Dedicated to the Chicago Platform." Basically, George McClellan was running against Lincoln, and the Democratic convention was held in Chicago. The Chicago Platform, which McClellan was running on, was to end the war by compromising with the south.

Nast was a fierce supporter for the Union cause. This illustration is a classic example of Nast skillfully using allegory and melodrama in his art to support the cause he believed was just. "Compromise with the South," published in Harper's Weekly on September 3, 1864, shows Columbia weeping at the grave of "Union Heroes in a Useless War" as a weary Union amputee shakes the hand of a neatly groomed Southern soldier. The epitaph on the grave reads "In memory of the Union Heroes who Fell in a Useless War". On the grave is a broken sword that reads "Northern Power". The Southern flag to the right of the print is inscribed with the word "Treason" and has a list of alleged Rebel atrocities in the war. The upside down union flag on the right has a list of the bloody battles of the war the Union had suffered through. The image is said to have brought Nast "instant fame" and was reprinted widely by the Republicans in their effort to have Lincoln re-elected. The image showed that if the Nation adopted McClellan's position, that it would in fact be a victory for the South, and all the sacrifice and loss in the war would have been for nothing. It is widely believed that this image played a crucial role in the reelection of Abraham Lincoln to a second term as President.

h1864p572           Price: $250

Honor the Brave

This original 1863 Thomas Nast print shows Lady Liberty weeping over the coffin of a fallen Union Soldier. A flag is draped over the coffin, and the soldiers hat and sword are sitting on the flag.  The print is captioned, "Honor the Brave.  The Union Must and Shall be Preserved."  Surrounding the caption are US flags, bearing the names of the bloody conflicts of the war, including; Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Williamsburg, Bull Run, Vicksburg, Stone River, and more.  The print is a centerfold from an original 1863 Harper's Weekly.  This print is twice as large as most, measuring 16x22.  It will make a stunning display when framed.

h1863p679             Price: $250

 

Thomas Nast Honor the Brave

Life of a Civil War Spy

This is an intriguing Thomas Nast print titled, "The Life of a Spy- In Nine Tableaux."  The print shows nine pictures from the life of a Civil War spy.  It is a superb illustration, with a wealth of interesting content.  The inset images include pictures of the spy behind enemy lines collecting information, a picture of him stealing money from a sleeping soldier, his safe return to camp, and images of him sitting around a fire, telling his cohorts of his exploits.  His second mission does not go so well.  There is an image of him being pursued on horseback.  He is then seen being confronted as a spy.  The final image shows the unfortunate spy paying the ultimate price for his dangerous line of work- he is hanging by the neck from a tree.

h1863p676             Price: $200

Thomas Nast Civil War Spy

Thomas Nast Thanksgiving Day

Thomas Nast- Thanksgiving Day, 1863

This is another touching Thomas Nast print of Lady Liberty.  The print is a centerfold from an original 1863 Harper's Weekly.  The print shows Lady Liberty kneeling, in earnest prayer for peace.  She is surrounded by inset images of the Nation in prayer.  A group of slaves is shown praying for freedom.  Another inset shows the inside of a church, the congregation praying for peace.  In the lower right corner a group in the country can be seen on their knees praying.  In the upper image, Abraham Lincoln can be seen on his knees praying for guidance.  Two other insets show prayers by the Army and the Navy.  The nations prayers were answered in about a year and a half, with the bloody conflict finally reaching its end at Appomattox Court House.  This is a rare and highly collectible print. The print is 22x16.

h1863p775             Price: $250

 

 

 

 

 

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