Conrad Wise Chapman Paintings

1842 - 1910

Born 14 February 1842, in Washington DC; died 10 December 1910, in Hampton (Virginia).

Painter, watercolourist, engraver. Genre scenes, military subjects, battles, landscapes, urban landscapes, scenes with figures, still-lifes.
Conrad Chapman was the son of the painter John Gadsby Chapman. His family moved to Rome when he was six years old. Chapman returned to the USA in 1861 and enlisted in the Confederate army. He was seriously wounded at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862 but remained in the army as a cartographer and topographer. He returned to Rome in 1864-1865 and later travelled in Mexico where he painted battle scenes between Maximilian’s troops and those of Juarez, as well as landscapes. He then returned to the USA but made frequent short visits to Mexico, France, Italy and England. He eventually moved to Hampton in Virginia, where he died.

In Rome Chapman executed numerous paintings on the American Civil War, including 31 showing the forts and artillery units around the port of Charleston in South Carolina. He wrote his memoirs in 1867. From 1865 to 1872 he painted mainly Mexican landscapes, including Mexico City Valley. In 1871 his painting of the Kentucky regiment in which he served became famous after being reproduced as a chromolithograph; Chapman himself appeared in it as a sentry.

Museum and Gallery Holdings

Richmond, VA (Mus. of the Confederacy): Fort Sumter Interior, Sunrise, December 9, 1864 (1864, oil/panel)
San Diego (Timken MA): View of the Valley of Mexico (1894, oil on canvas)