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The Winter Art Show

June 2024
1min read

Henry Bacon spent most of his life in London and Paris, recording the doings of the moneyed in slick, cheerful canvases. But as a young man he served in the 13th Massachusetts Volunteers in the Civil War and was wounded in action. Early in the war he came upon a huge old chestnut tree, eighteen feet around, stripped of its branches and turned into a signal station—part of a line that ran from the Maryland Heights to Washington. The flagmen, sick of wearying their arms passing along inconsequential news, distilled all the trivia they were being handed into a single serviceable message that became immortal and that gave Bacon the title for his painting: “All Quiet on the Potomac.”

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