Gallery Artists > William Gilbert Gaul Biography :

William Gilbert Gaul (1855 - 1919)  Artworks >>

Born: Jersey City, NJ 1855
Died: New York City 1919

Important military and Western painter, illustrator

Gilbert Gaul was educated at Claverack Military Academy. He was the pupil of L E Wilmarth at the National Academy of Design 1872-76 and privately under JG Brown. His early subjects emulated his teachers’ popular and sentimental genre works. This was revised by his commission from Century magazine to illustrate the historical “Battle and Leaders of the Civil War” published in 1887. He became known as a foremost American painter of battle scenes: “Uniforms and arms of many kinds were to be seen in his studio. The historic accuracy of each detail was studiously sought, and the models who posed as soldiers were fit types. All of these canvases were remarkable for energy of action and, above all, their spirit of belligerency.”

Gaul spent much time in the West at army posts and on Indian reservations in the 1880s. He was one of the five special agents who took the census of 1890 among the Indians, illustrating the “Report on Indians Taxed and Indians Not Taxed” with a strong portrait of Sitting Bull painted from life. Gaul visited the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock agencies then, with later trips to the northwest coast. Some years after, Gaul commented that Indians were “very picturesque” and that “they were a good deal like the white men—some were very good fellows and some were very bad.”

Resource: SAMUELS’ Encyclopedia of ARTISTS of THE AMERICAN WEST,
Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1985, Castle Publishing

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