Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Museum of Art >> Hall of American Art >> David Gilmour Blythe

The Seven Flags of the New Orleans Tri-Centennial

For More Information go to New Orleans 300th Birthday


David Gilmour Blythe


American artist

David Gilmour Blythe (May 9, 1815 - May 15, 1865) was a self-taught American artist best known for paintings which satirically portrayed political and social situations.

David Gilmour Blythe (May 9, 1815 - May 15, 1865) was a self-taught American artist best known for paintings which satirically portrayed political and social situations.

Early years
Blythe was born in East Liverpool, Ohio on May 9, 1815 to poor parents of Scottish and Irish ancestry. After a childhood in a log cabin by the Ohio River, at the age of 16, Blythe moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There he apprenticed himself to woodcarver Joseph Woodwell. In his subsequent work as an itinerant portrait painter, Blythe traveled widely from Baltimore to Philadelphia and perhaps as far as New Orleans. Other than his stint with Woodwell, Blythe had no known artistic education or training.

In addition to painting, Blythe carved from poplar a large (8'2") statue of Lafayette for the Uniontown, Pennsylvania courthouse. He also invested a great deal of time and energy painting a panorama — an early forerunner to motion pictures.

His social awkwardness and general bellicosity were intensified when Blythe drank, which was often. After another statue project in nearby Green County fell through, the Uniontown newspapers published Blythe poems in which he referred to Greene County as "a sow grown fat with buttermilk and meal." A Greene County newspaper then published a retort by a local poet in which Blythe was named too much of a drunk to be worth anyone's attention. Blythe's impudent response was a letter in which he called the poet "the son of an insolvent rat."

Between 1850 and 1852, Blythe suffered several profound losses. Both his father and his wife, the former Julia Ann Keffer, died. His panorama venture failed financially. After these tribulations, his work became increasingly and bitingly satirical. He turned away from portraiture and instead concentrated on canvases depicting hot-button social and political issues. He opposed the expansion of both slavery and immigration and made visual points regarding both issues in a number of paintings.

Civil War
Blythe painted "Lincoln Crushing the Dragon of Rebellion" in 1862. This piece depicts a fiery Abraham Lincoln in the center of the canvas, straining forward to crush rebellion (depicted as an alligator or crocodile) while in the background, a huge fire rages.

Blythe did not serve in the military during the Civil War. He did follow a regiment in hopes of making sketches to use later as studies for paintings of battle. Although Blythe did not personally witness combat, he gained enough of a sense of the cruelties of war that he was emboldened to paint several powerful pieces. Of these, the most famous is "Libby Prison," which Blythe painted in 1863. It depicts Union soldiers suffering intensely in captivity. It is generally considered to be one of the most gruesome of all American paintings of Civil War scenes.

Later work
Many of Blythe's most accomplished paintings offer barbed commentary on the American judicial system; politics; the pretensions of the burgeoning American middle class; and the daily activities of street urchins he encountered in Pittsburgh.

His paintings of children are particularly notable for their distinct lack of sentimentality. Blythe's children generally exhibit a sharp intelligence and rather adult, cynical expressions. They are shown to be canny participants in the city's hustle-and-bustle: playing marbles for money, setting off firecrackers, picking pockets, smoking cigars, stealing eggs, and indulging in other forms of hanky-panky.

On May 15, 1865, Blythe died of complications of alcoholism.

Although Blythe was well-regarded in Pittsburgh during his final years, he did not enjoy a larger national reputation in his lifetime. From his death until the 1940s, his life and work were largely forgotten. Since the 1940s, however, his oeuvre has earned growing respect and prestige. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; and the Butler Institute of American Art, among others.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Start your search on David Gilmour Blythe.

The Congressional Evolution of the United States Henry Middleton

Unauthorized Site: This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected, associated with or authorized by the individual, family, friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated sites that are related to this subject will be hyper linked below upon submission and Evisum, Inc. review.

Research Links

  • Artcyclopedia
  • Web Gallery of Art
  • Web Museum   

    Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
    Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy

  • Search:

    About Us



    Image Use

    Please join us in our mission to incorporate The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here


    Historic Documents

    Articles of Association

    Articles of Confederation 1775

    Articles of Confederation

    Article the First

    Coin Act

    Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence

    Emancipation Proclamation

    Gettysburg Address

    Monroe Doctrine

    Northwest Ordinance

    No Taxation Without Representation

    Thanksgiving Proclamations

    Mayflower Compact

    Treaty of Paris 1763

    Treaty of Paris 1783

    Treaty of Versailles

    United Nations Charter

    United States In Congress Assembled

    US Bill of Rights

    United States Constitution

    US Continental Congress

    US Constitution of 1777

    US Constitution of 1787

    Virginia Declaration of Rights


    Historic Events

    Battle of New Orleans

    Battle of Yorktown

    Cabinet Room

    Civil Rights Movement

    Federalist Papers

    Fort Duquesne

    Fort Necessity

    Fort Pitt

    French and Indian War

    Jumonville Glen

    Manhattan Project

    Stamp Act Congress

    Underground Railroad

    US Hospitality

    US Presidency

    Vietnam War

    War of 1812

    West Virginia Statehood

    Woman Suffrage

    World War I

    World War II


    Is it Real?

    Declaration of

    Digital Authentication
    Click Here


    America’s Four Republics
    The More or Less United States

    Continental Congress
    U.C. Presidents

    Peyton Randolph

    Henry Middleton

    Peyton Randolph

    John Hancock


    Continental Congress
    U.S. Presidents

    John Hancock

    Henry Laurens

    John Jay

    Samuel Huntington


    Constitution of 1777
    U.S. Presidents

    Samuel Huntington

    Samuel Johnston
    Elected but declined the office

    Thomas McKean

    John Hanson

    Elias Boudinot

    Thomas Mifflin

    Richard Henry Lee

    John Hancock
    Chairman David Ramsay]

    Nathaniel Gorham

    Arthur St. Clair

    Cyrus Griffin


    Constitution of 1787
    U.S. Presidents

    George Washington 

    John Adams
    Federalist Party

    Thomas Jefferson
    Republican* Party

    James Madison 
    Republican* Party

    James Monroe
    Republican* Party

    John Quincy Adams
    Republican* Party
    Whig Party

    Andrew Jackson
    Republican* Party
    Democratic Party

    Martin Van Buren
    Democratic Party

    William H. Harrison
    Whig Party

    John Tyler
    Whig Party

    James K. Polk
    Democratic Party

    David Atchison**
    Democratic Party

    Zachary Taylor
    Whig Party

    Millard Fillmore
    Whig Party

    Franklin Pierce
    Democratic Party

    James Buchanan
    Democratic Party

    Abraham Lincoln 
    Republican Party

    Jefferson Davis***
    Democratic Party

    Andrew Johnson
    Republican Party

    Ulysses S. Grant 
    Republican Party

    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Republican Party

    James A. Garfield
    Republican Party

    Chester Arthur 
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland
    Democratic Party

    Benjamin Harrison
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland 
    Democratic Party

    William McKinley
    Republican Party

    Theodore Roosevelt
    Republican Party

    William H. Taft 
    Republican Party

    Woodrow Wilson
    Democratic Party

    Warren G. Harding 
    Republican Party

    Calvin Coolidge
    Republican Party

    Herbert C. Hoover
    Republican Party

    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Democratic Party

    Harry S. Truman
    Democratic Party

    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Republican Party

    John F. Kennedy
    Democratic Party

    Lyndon B. Johnson 
    Democratic Party 

    Richard M. Nixon 
    Republican Party

    Gerald R. Ford 
    Republican Party

    James Earl Carter, Jr. 
    Democratic Party

    Ronald Wilson Reagan 
    Republican Party

    George H. W. Bush
    Republican Party 

    William Jefferson Clinton
    Democratic Party

    George W. Bush 
    Republican Party

    Barack H. Obama
    Democratic Party

    Please Visit

    Forgotten Founders
    Norwich, CT

    Annapolis Continental
    Congress Society

    U.S. Presidency
    & Hospitality

    © Stan Klos





    Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum