Artist Don Troiani, whose work has appeared in The Washington Post and the The New York Times, recently released his new work titled “Presenting the Colors.”
Toby Pendergrass, director of the Allan Jones Foundation, said Troiani depicts the original Banner building as it appeared in 1861, according to research by the artist and local historian Bryan Reed.
“The painting features a Confederate scene that actually happened in Cleveland, in the street in front of the old Banner building at the intersection of Ocoee and 2nd Street, near the bandstand and the northeast corner of the courthouse,” said Pendergrass. “The old Banner building is now the site of Café Roma.”
The Banner was founded in 1854, and a special giclee was presented to the newspaper recently by the Jones Foundation.
Pendergrass said the scene in the painting was created to commemorate the Banner’s 160th year, which begins on Jan. 1, 2014.
“The painting illustrates how during the first years of the Civil War, local ladies in each town would present flags to various companies, which were later formed into regiments,” said Allan Jones. “What is shown in the painting actually happened in 1861, although we cannot confirm the month and day.”
Troiani’s research indicates the presentations were very formal, with the ladies dressed in their best clothing and the troops lined up appropriately. Each dress in the painting was custom made by an expert 18th century tailor and is an exact replica of dresses that appeared in the area in that time frame.
The flag shown in the painting was the Confederate flag in 1861. The familiar “Bars & Stripes” flag did not appear until 1863.
Troiani’s new painting has already generated tremendous interest, as the artist was military adviser on all 52 episodes of A&E and History Channel’s “Civil War Journal.”
In recent years, Troiani has completed paintings of the historic Henegar House in Charleston, and of Revolutionary War hero Benjamin Cleveland. His most recent work was of John C. Vaughn — the man known as “The Last Confederate General.” Vaughn was the first man to raise an infantry regiment in Tennessee and one of the very last Confederate generals to surrender.
The original “Presenting the Colors” painting hangs in the house of Allan and Janie Jones at Creekridge in Cleveland, Pendergrass said.
Appearing in the painting are Cleveland residents Courtney Jones Pendergrass and her daughter, Gincy; Tim Varner (grounds manager at Creekridge); Abby Jones and her pug, Jax; Anne Jones; Amy Jones Banks; Chris Pendergrass; and presenting the flag is Janie P. Jones. On the roof of the Banner building are Will and Bailey Jones. The other models were professionals hired by Troiani.
People interested in ordering prints of the “Presenting the Colors” painting can visit www.historicalartprints.com.