Robinson Gifford’s Sunday Morning in the Camp of the Seventh Regiment near Washington, D.C., in May 1861 will be among the highlights at Christie’s American Art sale on 5 December. Estimated at $3-5 million, the work stands to set a new world auction record for the Hudson River School master. Elizabeth Sterling, Head of American Art at Christie’s in New York, said, “One of four major large-scale paintings based on Sanford Robinson Gifford’s involvement in the War, this work is the most important work by the artist to have ever been offered for sale publicly. Sunday Morning in the Camp of the Seventh Regiment near Washington, D.C., in May 1861 presents a historically accurate account of quotidian military life, as well as a glimpse into Gifford’s optimistic outlook on the Civil War and his faith in the Union troops.”
The work has been exhibited at such renowned institutions as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, in addition to having been hung in the Oval Office of the White House while it was on loan there, from the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976 to 1989.
Gifford’s rare depictions of the American Civil War are particularly noteworthy and poignant as they are based on his firsthand experiences as a Union soldier from his three tours of duty in the spring and summer of 1861, 1862 and 1863, while most artists painted solely via observation.