Conrad Wise Chapman Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions
2-14-1842 Washington DC, USA - 12-10-1910 Hampton, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Conrad Wise Chapman was born in Washington, D.C. but grew up in Europe because his dad was working as an artist there. In 1861 he returned to America and enlisted in Company D, Third Kentucky Infantry of the Confederate Army. Conrad Wise Chapman was in combat in Mississippi and Louisiana and was injured at the battle of Shiloh, he was then at the demand of his father to Henry Alexander Wise, transferred to the 46th Virginia. While the 46th Infantry was in Charleston, South Carolina, he was appointed to make thirty-one paintings of the city's defenses by Brig. Gen. Thomas Jordan, chief of staff to commanding Gen. General Beauregard. This was part of a crusade by Beauregard to bolster support for ideas about the defense of the harbor in the Confederate government.
In 1863, he has transferred again, this time to the 59th Virginia Infantry, as an ordnance sergeant. In 1864, Conrad was furloughed for six months and went to Italy. After the end of the war, not able to reconcile to the Confederacy's loss, Conrad Wise Chapman headed out to Mexico for a brief span. He moved his family to Richmond in 1898 around which time he sold 31 paintings to the Confederate Memorial Literary Society, which later turned into the Museum of the Confederacy.
Conrad Wise Chapman created artwork while he was on active duty during the Civil War. While there were several artists on the Union side who captured the war in painting, this was not the situation on the Confederate side and his works are the only set of battle subjects painted by a Confederate army artist during the war. His Civil War paintings are impressive from a historical perspective because although photography was just starting out, there was no color to add life to the scenes. To say he was painting battles, would be wrong, as the majority of his diverse paintings do not include fighting and are in fact quite peaceful.
Art Movement: Realism
He Traveled To Italy, Mexico