N. C. Wyeth (1882-1945)Sherman1922Oil on canvas, 40 1/8 x 30 1/8 in. (101.9 x 76.5 cm.)Collection of the Hill School, Pottstown, PA
Oil on canvas
Lower left: N. C. WYETH (underlined)
N. C. Wyeth; purchased by Michael F. Sweeney for The Hill School, 1923
Harrisburg, PA, 1965, no. 37 as "General Sherman"; Chadds Ford, PA, 1972, no. 124; Greenville, SC, 1974, no. 66; Chadds Ford, PA, 1976(2); Lititz, PA, 1991; Roanoke, VA, 1991; Philadelphia, PA, Union League of Philadelphia, "Artists of the Brandywine River Valley, 1850-1993," May 13 - June 30, 1993, no. 35; Chadds Ford, PA, Brandywine River Museum, "Romance in Conflict, N. C. Wyeth's Civil War Paintings," Jan. 22-March 20, 2011
Color illustration f. p. 182, Brander Matthews, Poems of American Patriotism (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922)
Cover illus., American History Illustrated, vol. l, no. 9 (Jan. 1967); Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen, Jr., N. C. Wyeth, The Collected Paintings, Illustrations and Murals (New York: Crown Publishers, 1972), p. 212; "Sweeney's Legacy," Hill (The Hill School Bulletin), Sept. 1980, illus. p. 14; Tom Brokaw, et al., One Nation, Patriots and Pirates Portrayed by N. C. Wyeth and James Wyeth (Boston: Bulfinch Press, Little Brown and Co., 2000), fig. 24 on p. 25; Christine B. Podmaniczky, N. C. Wyeth, A Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings (London: Scala, 2008), I.908, p. 438
The unillustrated edition of Poems of American Patriotism that the artist read and annotated in preparation for this commission (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915) is in the collection of the Brandywine River Museum (NCWS.95.157), however, the poem "The Burial of Sherman" by Richard Watson Gilder, is not in that edition. The artist received the text of the poem on a typewritten sheet, on which he highlighted the last line of the first section: "Who fought for freedom, not glory; made war that war might cease." Wyeth owned the ten volume set "Photographic History of the Civil War" (pub. 1911, BRM 95.94); in vol. 3 (p. 209) there is a photograph of Sherman that Wyeth may have used as a source for this portrait.
The artist's reaction to the Hill School purchase is expressed in a letter to Arthur L. Bailey, librarian of the Wilmington Institute Library, "At present, I am sitting on top of the world!" (NCW to ALB, May 14, 1923, Wilmington Institute Library).