During a recent stay in Gettysburg, as I walked down the stairwell from the third floor, I came across an interesting painting hanging over one of the landings. Here’s a portion of the picture:
I don’t know anything about the painting: who painted it, or when, or in what medium. I don’t even know if this is the original or just a print. I kind of like it, though.
Meade’s horse is in motion, with both feet slightly off the ground (look at the shadows, where you can see gaps of sunlight between shadow and hooves). John Sedgwick’s horse stands as firm and immobile as the real-life statue of O. O. Howard’s horse on East Cemetery Hill, while Howard’s horse in the painting looks attentive and ready.
Dan Sickles, off his horse, is shown with both legs—obviously pre-wounding.
But what first caught my eye about this painting, specifically, was John Reynolds standing in the foreground. With hands on hips, he looks like he’s waiting for a train that’s running late (perhaps it’s a bullet train…). His askew hat does not look rakish, though; he looks, instead, like a bit of a dandy.
As I look closer, I’m beginning to wonder of maybe Howard’s horse is staring at Reynolds—I can’t tell. All I know is that I keep looking at him, at this painting, my eye drawn to the figure in the foreground instead of the army commander and his flag.