The Birth of the Flag

The Birth of the Flag, Henry Mosler, 1911.

The Birth of the Flag was painted in 1911 by Henry Mosler, just 9 years before he died. It is oil on canvas. Mosler was hugely influenced by the old masters and their paintings. He spent time in Europe studying their artwork through sketching and drawing from their work for three years. And just as the masters studied under other prominent artists, Mosler later studied under the artist Ernest Hérbert for 6 months during his first stay in Paris, and then under Karl von Piloty for 3 years in Munich.

Characteristics of the old master’s paintings can be seen in The Birth of the Flag, including harmony and balance, extreme technical skill and realism in the figures, sfumato, the triangle composition, and the many focal points for the viewer’s eyes. This painting demonstrates Mosler’s gift for creating paintings that are incredibly realistic and detailed – you can clearly see the women’s faces, and the patterns of the dresses as they crease and fold over the women’s bodies.

View a remix of this video featuring a soundtrack by CCT student Sam Redd.

Learn more and see footage of the painting in this short documentary by students in CCT’s Media Production course.

The Birth of the Flag from j.r. osborn on Vimeo.