The battle of the Kearsarge and the Alabama

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"The Battle of the Kearsarge and the Alabama" is a painting by Edouard Manet made in 1865. The painting captures the "Battle of Cherbourg," a naval battle of the American Civil War, which took place off Cherbourg between the ship of the Union USS Kearsarge and the Confederate ship CSS Alabama in 1864. This battle took place in front of hundreds of onlookers.

The work, depicting the Alabama ready to sink, is a prophetic announcement of the final defeat of the Confederates. The fact that the two boats are relegated so far in the background prompted questions, Barbey d'Aurevilly argued that the choice of the artist makes the sea even more impressive that  battle itself.

1865, Philadelphia Museum of Art

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