"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Chester Nimitz

This 1944 painting of Chester Nimitz by Dean Cornwell hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"In the first months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and American entry into World War II, the Japanese push to dominate the Asian Pacific seemed unstoppable. As commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz was charged with halting that drive, and halt it he did. Under his orchestration, American naval forces turned back the Japanese at the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, and at the Battle of Midway that june they dealt a blow from which Japan's navy never recovered. By war's end, Nimitz was one of the most respected leaders of the Allied cause. It is thought that the backdrop in Nimitz's portrait is the wreckage left by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor.

The picture thus marked the moment when Nimitz took command of the effort to come back from that devastating disaster." -- National Portrait Gallery

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