Henry Arthur McArdle's Dawn at the Alamo, painted in 1905 after the 1875 original was destroyed in a fire at the Limestone Capitol in 1881, is a stirring and hyperbolic reproduction of a much-espoused American legend. McArdle revised the original sketches and his early twentieth century version is a stunning and visionary compilation of historical sources, resulting in a visually exhaustive (and exhausting) take on the Alamo story. Depicting the Texan troupe, including the folklore figure David Crockett in the bottom right corner protecting the women and children from the apparently murderous hordes, the artist also manages to include the well-known characters James Bowie and Commander William B. Travis. Clearly not attempting to depict the reality of the battle, McArdle instead hoped to condense the action into a series of tableaux and then expand the scene to encompass a number of views. The result in a melange of myth, legend, and patriotism.
In the background the artist featured the chapel which has since become a symbol of Texan identity. Indeed, in the southern United States McArdle is considered the most accomplished painter of scenes revolving around the so-called Texas Revolution. Without doubt the first painter to take up the subject as a dominant theme in his work, McArdle, French and Irish by lineage, perfectly captured the mood of the lone star state in the fraught late-nineteenth century. Along with his 1898 canvas The Battle of San Jacinto which to this day is housed in the Senate Chamber in the Texas Capitol, McArdle's conscientious approach to historical detail delights war re-enactors and re-creationists across the southern states. Although bombastic in his visual style, McArdle was an astute documentarist, interviewing survivors of the Alamo and family members, ensuring if not accuracy then faithful adherence to the legend.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Dawn at the Alamo, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Dawn at the Alamo that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
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