Posted by: Mish | October 25, 2007

Disappointed in the Louvre

I was the young naïve age of 11 when my family visited the renowned Louvre. I remember feeling so small in the expansive hallways and galleries filled with art from times past. I still remember Michelangelo’s David was revealing and that Mona Lisa followed my every move.

It was in one of those vast hallways that my father and I were looking at some painting deemed worthy to have a place in that temple to deceased artists. I looked in both directions before turning to my dad. Among the quiet that respectfully befalls such a place, I blurted out, “Where’s Custer’s Last Stand? I want to see it.” I think a pin dropped as a few people glanced our way.

With patient embarrassment, he whispered, “It’s not in the Louvre.” He may have followed up with a brief explanation, but I don’t remember. We quickly moved to the next gallery, passing the rest of the oils and sculptures we hadn’t seen.

I had seen a picture of Custer’s Last Stand while reading about General Custer and Crazy Horse and wanted to see the painting in person. At the time, da Vinci and Michelangelo were great and all, but I had my heart set on Edgar Paxson’s depiction of that historical battle. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

I have yet to see Custer’s Last Stand, but I will. One of these days I will travel to Cody, Wyoming and visit the Whitney Gallery of Western Art where I now know that famous painting hangs. There, I will pay homage to the Natives who won the battle, Paxson whose unbiased journalism took the form of realistic paintings and sketches, and the “characters” that came alive through reading.

Custer’s Last Stand



  1. At least you had the opportunity to go there. I’m waiting for the day I can spend a few days wandering those halls.

    To see a fabulous battle scene visit Gettysburg. In the cyclorama building there is a painting of a 360 degree view of one day of battle on a canvas that is something like 25 feet by 300 feet.

  2. Wow, that would be a sight to see. Thanks for the tip. Hopefully, I’ll remember if I’m in the area.

    That day will come. Now that I’m older and can appreciate it more, I’d like to go back.

  3. That was a nice story. (I am not American, and so, well, things being as they are, the story makes a lot of sense.

    Do you know you have that “snapfish” enabled? A grey ad that floats in front of your picture showing a thumbnail of your page or your picture? Right now again I do not remember how it is disabled. If you like I will find out and tell you another day.

  4. Funny—just like you I have a thing with a Custer painting. But with another one. Years ago Budweiser Beer handed out a reproduction of “Custer’s Last Fight”by Otto Becker(?) to its customers and my dad hung it up in his bar. I used to look a lot at that picture and daydream about the great battle and Indians and scalping and heroism and so on.
    I hadn’t seen it for years and then it popped up one day on the computer screen. The surprise to me now after all the years and pictures I’ve seen since, is that, in addition to all the anecdotes, it is an excellent battle painting and not like most of them which, while trying to show you the confusion of combat, make a confused scene.

  5. You mean this one? I see what you mean about the lack of confusion, unlike in Last Stand. Becker’s Last Fight came up a lot during my search for Paxson’s Last Stand. Know what you mean about the daydreaming. =)

    Thanks for visiting and all the comments.

  6. Hey, Mish, Michelangelo’s David is in Florence, in the Accademia. In the Louvre are his two so-called Slaves. Wait till you see the real David!

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