image gallery

The ship's escapades and final battle captured the imaginations of people throughout the world. (The Battle of the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama. Oil on Canvas. Presently owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.)

Slipping Beneath the Waves

Though the French impressionist Edouard Manet had been actively painting for years, the majority of his paintings had represented moments in Parisian life. His CSS Alabama painting is his first known seascape, and was a first instance of Manet as a recorder of current events. It was painted and displayed a scant month after the sinking of the CSS Alabama. Manet's choice of this subject as his transitional painting from day-to-day scenes to historical representations indicates the importance of this battle even to a French artist removed from the conflict.