Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Winslow Homer 1864 Painting, Defiance: Inviting a Shot Before Petersburg, Virginia_at Detroit Institute of Arts

Views: 793

Comment by Rob Morrison on February 19, 2013 at 8:58am

Bob--It's been fascinating seeing all the different reactions to this one painting.  I've learned all kinds of stuff.  Thanks for the Roschach test.--Rob

Comment by Bryant Henderson on February 19, 2013 at 11:39am

Since we all (right many of us, anyhow) seem interested in detail, I'll offer one more. That brown color from the knees down on the defiant one's pants would have been, simply, mud from the trenches. He does appear to be fortunate enough to actually have a pair of shoes, which many Confederates did not from time to time. They would have been "bootees", what we would call "brogans" today. Knee length boots were for horseback riding, and were impractical (cumbersome, hot, too heavy) for the long marches that infantry had to make. As well, it would have been a waste of leather, which, like every other necessity, was in short supply in the South. I concur with Matthew -- he's very much a typical Confederate soldier -- he's wearing the lightest weight bare essentials, but not a stitch or ounce more.

Pardon my pontifications. I do appreciate everyone's sharing their perspectives on this.

Comment by Matthew Mickletz on February 19, 2013 at 2:59pm

Suppose I'll be bowing out on this discussion now.  I's been proven oh so wrong and taught civilians only wore frocks.

Comment by Matthew Mickletz on February 19, 2013 at 4:30pm

Comment by Strumelia on February 19, 2013 at 8:16pm

Dan'l, that goofy-posing guy in the striped getup looks to me like the same fellow who has posed for banjo photos and stereoscope cards before, only more dignified then:


Did they retouch his eyes?- scary!   =8-0

Comment by Bell Banjos on February 20, 2013 at 5:05pm

Has nobody noticed? That's Carl Anderton in the painting.

Comment by Tim Twiss on February 20, 2013 at 5:22pm

Terry...you're drinking today, aren't you. ;)


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