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Monday, August 10, 2009

An artistic discovery.

We made another excursion to the Detroit Institute of Arts yesterday. Whilst chasing Louis around (Wide! Open! Spaces!), I stumbled upon this find by Thomas Hovenden in the DIA's matchless American art wing, In Hoc Signo Vinces:

I double-took, and recognized exactly what period of history it depicted.

No Googling/Binging/Asking/etc.

How about you--from what almost universally forgotten event in history is this painting based upon? Here's a hint: look carefully at the sign being sewn on his jacket.

It's a spectacular work in person. Hovenden was a great one--he's also responsible for the powerful and more-famous Last Moments of John Brown.

Update--Here is the insignia being stitched to the man's vest:

Answer: The Revolt of the Vendee, and the subsequent genocide, the first of the modern era, done in the name of a secular ideology. The first of a very, very horrific string.

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