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Painting the United States’ Civil War: Or creating a Brotherly War

Abstract : This article seeks to illustrate Benedict Anderson’s theory of the “Reassurance of Fratricide” and “the act of remembering/forgetting” through depictions of the Civil War in US fine arts. This is mostly done through the Smithsonian art data base and the paintings referenced under the label Civil War, spanning from the 1860s to the 1890s. This paper first analyzes how these paintings were used to depict the Confederate soldier’s otherness as typically American and thus helped with the post-war reintegration of the Confederacy. This study then examines how in certain paintings the war was brought inside the realm of domesticity and family, which reinforced the idea of a fratricide and a family feud, pushing away further the notion that the war opposed two sovereign nation-states.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01429788
Contributor : Marc Smith <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 9, 2017 - 10:40:53 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 3:02:05 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-01429788, version 1

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Marc Smith. Painting the United States’ Civil War: Or creating a Brotherly War. Textes et Contextes, Université de Bourgogne, Centre Interlangues TIL, 2015, Le Temps guérit toutes les blessures : La Résistance à l'autorité de l'Histoire dans les concepts de nation et de nationalisme, https://preo.u-bourgogne.fr/textesetcontextes/index.php?id=1129. ⟨halshs-01429788⟩

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