Manet and the American Civil War: The Battle of U.S.S Kearsarge and C.S.S. Alabama
A study of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's acquisition, "The "Kearsarge" at Boulogne", by Edouard Manet (1832-1883). During the American Civil War, when Union forces blocked Confederate ports, the Confederacy countered by waging guerrilla warfare on Union merchant shipping. One of the most skilled Confederate raiders was the sloop-of-war "Alabama". On the 19th June 1864, the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama fought off the coast of Cherbourg, France. The Alabama sank less than two hours after the first shot was fired. The battle captured the attention of the French people, and Manet, who as a teenager had served in the French navy, raced to Boulogne to see the victorious Kearsarge. He painted a depiction of the battle (which he did not witness), now in Philadelphia, as well as a portrait of the Kearsarge, now in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This volume contains essays about the Metropolitan's picture and five additional seascapes painted by Manet in Boulogne during the summer of 1864. Related works by other artists, photographs and newspaper articles are also included.