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So, Scott, now sporting a bohemian imperial beard, followed in the footsteps of renowned American artists George Caleb Bingham, Albert Bierstadt and Eastman Johnson, spending time in Paris.

IN SPRING 1864, when he was one year into his studies at the National Academy and with Leutz, Scott set out to gather subject matter for his art.  A week of visiting army and government officials in Washington D.C. with letters of introduction won the artist permission to travel to Virginia as an honorary aide-de-camp to Smith, his former division commander.  Scott joined Smith by then a major general and commanded of the Army of the James' XVIII Corps, in time for the May 1864 campaign on Bermuda Hundred, a strip of land between the James and Appomattox Rivers.  He was to stay with the army for three weeks: the sole purpose of his visit was sketching.

At the scene of combat again, but this time without military duties to encumber him, Scott was in the best possible position to fully document the sights that surrounded an army at war.  He put his new abilities to work producing drawings that would serve him in his painting for the rest of his life. By the time he returned to New York City, his sketchbooks were filled with "behind the scenes" looks at army life, seen from the common soldier's perspective.  He drew captured Confederate soldiers, destitute escaped slaves, wounded men on litters, and the bloated corpses of pack animals.  Scott also made portraits of all kinds.  In reality, all Scott's drawings were portraits, close-up looks at individual beings.  Even in crowded battle scenes, the soldiers whose faces are bit by the fires of destruction are often the very ones who actually participated in the events depicted.

Back in New York, Scott continued his artistic training at the National Academy and with Leutz.  In the summer of 1866 the Civil War had been over for a year, and the 20-year-old painter felt the urge to travel.  No artist of the era considered his education complete unless he had been abroad to see the great works of Western art and study with the European masters.  So, Scott, now sporting a bohemian imperial beard, followed in the footsteps of renowned American artists George Caleb Bingham, Albert Bierstadt and Eastman Johnson, spending time in Paris.

By the time he visited Europe, Scott had developed an artistic style of his own.  He was able to extract the pertinent values from his education and combine them with a fresh, personal approach, creating works with a distinctly American flavor. He also developed a professional -- perfectionism.  His training and faithfulness to detail -the influence of his mentor, Leutz, with whom he studied until 1868 - got the best of him on occasion, as became evident early in his career.

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