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Item #: CWB13064
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2 1/2" X 3 7/8" ~ After his successful Civil War subject Country Postoffice: News from the Army (1929.105, 1936.644), showing a young woman anxious to read a letter being carefully examined by the local postmaster, Rogers was stumped for ideas for another group to add to his offerings for Christmas 1863. In September he wrote almost apologetically to his mother, "I am now at work on a single figure, which does not amount to much, till I can think of something more satisfactory." Mail Day went on sale in time for the holidays. Rogers employed an unusual single-figure format to depict a soldier seated with a writing board on his lap. With pen in one hand and inkpot in the other, he scratches his chin and raises his eyes to the sky, waiting for inspiration. In the artist's words, "It is the day for the mail to close, and a soldier is puzzling his brains so as to complete his letter in time." The subject is at least somewhat autobiographical; Rogers often confessed that he had difficulty thinking of what to write about in his letters home, and the soldier's perplexity mirrored Rogers' own as he searched for his next subject. The artist seemed concerned that the single figure would not have enough presence to hold its own in the company of his larger and more complex subjects; the writing board bisects the composition and adds an element of horizontality, and the soldier's overcoat flows off his shoulders and away from his body, adding further width. In spite of Rogers' concerns, the New York Times art critic Charles de Kay called Mail Day the best of Rogers' Civil War groups, citing its humor, strong composition, and good modeling.
Shipping Weight: 1 lb
 $125.00 USD