Officer’s Boy

Original Artwork by Michael Dumas

Officer’s Boy

Michael Dumas
Original Artwork
Oil on Russian Birch
6 × 8 in

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Artwork Description

‘Campfollowers’ are the women, children and men who did not fight, who were part of the military and militia life of the War of 1812. During a re-enactment of the Battle of Crysler Farm one summer I noticed this young man who played the part of a campfollower whose duties involved running errands and performing chores for one of the senior officers. He seemed a very convincing figure to me despite his youth. With the permission of his parents who were part of the re-enactment entourage, I was able to have him serve as a model for ‘Officer’s Boy’. I periodically create drawings and paintings based on a historical period, and when these involve people it is the individual character of the person that tips the scale from merely interesting to ‘must paint’. I apprenticed under the late Lewis Parker, one of Canada’s master historical painters. Lewis always included families, children, and civilian figures in his paintings whenever he could to create a sense of events affecting the general population. In presenting a single individual from a close and intimate viewpoint it is my hope that viewers might perhaps even get a sense of what it might have been like to be that person during those times.

-Michael Dumas