Rioting Refigured: George Henry Hall and the Picturing of American Political Violence

Barrett, Ross
September 2010
Art Bulletin;Sep2010, Vol. 92 Issue 3, p211
Academic Journal
The article presents information on the painting "A Dead Rabbit" by American painter George Henry Hall in 1858, which depicts an Irish-American gang member. The conflict of the Dead Rabbit Riot of 1857 in New York City is discussed in which urban immigrant workers challenged democratic practices, displaying violent political discontent before the American Civil War. The painting is compared to other works by Hall, who also produced still lifes, nature studies, and landscapes. The author suggests that the painting reimagined the traditional nude painting. The painting is also compared to other antebellum American artwork depicting the working class of the mid-19th century including the wood engravings "A Dead Rabbit" and "A Bowery Boy" published in "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper."


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