We got a sneak peak of this photo a few weeks ago and are thrilled to be able to share with you that John Paul Strain Historical Art has just released this beautiful painting of the LEE Chapel BEFORE it was desecrated by the Washington & Lee administration, complete with the Memorial Battle Flags.
P.O. Box 547
Sandston VA 23150
From John Paul Strain Historical Art:
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. I am excited to announce the release of my latest painting, in time for Christmas.
Robert E. Lee's Memorial
Lee Chapel - Washington and Lee University
Many thought of him as the realized King Arthur. Revered and loved by his soldiers, Robert E. Lee became one of the greatest generals in American history. A visiting British woman wrote "General Lee is the handsomest man of his age I ever saw. His manners are most courteous and full of dignity...he has none of the small vices...and his bitterest enemy never accused him of any of the greater ones." Perpetually faithful to his wife, he neither drank, swore or smoked. He prayed for guidance from the Almighty long and often. As a cadet at West Point he did not receive a single demerit. His class mates affectionately referred to him as the "Marble Model".
He was born to one of the first families of Virginia. His father, Light Horse Harry Lee, had been a friend and favorite cavalry commander of George Washington. In 1831 Robert married Mary Custis, Martha Washington's granddaughter.
Lee's military career was distinguished like no other. He was appointed to the prestigious Corps of Engineers. In the war with Mexico, he was brevetted three times for bravery, and played a key role in the victories achieved in battle. Becoming
Superintendent of West Point, he commanded the Marines who captured the insurrectionist John Brown at Harper's Ferry.
As hostilities began to break out, the north needed a new field commander. General Winfield Scott pronounced, "If ...the President of the United States would tell me that a great battle was to be fought for the liberty or slavery of the country, and asked my judgement as to the ability of a commander, I would say with my dying breath, 'Let it be Robert E. Lee!'" Lincoln offered Lee total field command of the entire Union Army. Lee pondered the greatest dilemma of his life at his Arlington estate across the Potomac from Washington. At midnight on the 20th of April, Lee wrote his letter of resignation from the United States Army. Lee wrote to General Scott, "Save in defense of my Native State, I never desire again to draw my sword." He then took the train to Richmond never to see his beloved Arlington home again. On April 23rd Lee accepted command of the Army of Virginia. And so began his defense of not only his native state but the entire South.
After the end of the war Lee moved to Lexington Virginia accepting the position of President at Washington college. For the next 5 years Lee worked tirelessly to build the college physically and financially. In 1866 Lee requested a larger church chapel be built. With the help of his son Custis and architect Col. Thomas Williamson from the VMI the chapel was constructed during 1867-68. Lee regularly attended services there upon its completion.
When Robert E. Lee died on Oct 14, 1870, a funeral procession took his remains to the chapel. VMI Cadet honor guards stood watch through the night. He was buried beneath the chapel, where he remains to this day. A year after his death, the sculptor Edward Valentine was commissioned to create a life size marble sculpture of General Lee in uniform asleep on his cot. The completed work entitled "Recumbent Lee" is reminiscent of Medieval sculptures of the Knights of Old England. In 1933 the United Daughters of the Confederacy were granted permission to display original Army of Northern Virginia battle flags with the sculpture. Two brass standards holding eight original flags and later exact reproductions would be part of General Robert E. Lee's memorial for over 80 years. Today General Lee's spirit can still be felt there, along with the soldiers who served with him.
Our friends at D&K Prints, Debi and Kent Robinson, have the painting/prints available for order: