David Gilmour Blythe (1815-1865), painter, poet, artisan and social critic, was a true American original. At a time when Victorian-era sentimentality ruled the upper classes of society, Blythe's unique gaze captured the foibles of his environment with wit and irreverence. His mature paintings typically portray allegorical slayings of the Confederacy, herds of feral children rampaging through downtown Pittsburgh, ne'er-do-wells and drunks in their natural setting, and the Hogarthian chaos of life in a booming society with many dark corners and secrets. Blythe's offbeat artistic vision was singular then as now and he is widely recognized as a leading 19th century American painter. His works reside in many of this country's leading art museums and private collections. He was also a skilled and prolific poet, and that poetry is presented in collected and corrected form for the first time herein together with contemporary articles and images of his life and works.
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