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Posted on Mar 12, 2005 in Books and Movies

The Soldier’s View – The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco – Book Review

By Mark Christian

The Soldier’s View – The Civil War Art of Keith Rocco
Military History Press
Hard Bound, 191 pages

"My favorite subject of the war is the rank and file. I feel closest to the soldiers." –Keith Rocco

Beginning with an interview with the artist conducted by William Miller for the 1995 issue 49 of "Civil War", the magazine of the Civil War Society, Keith Rocco, a master of his work to say the least has compiled several of his Civil War paintings in one volume. Included with each painting there is a description of the events taking place in that particular piece of art. All pieces are historically described by Robert Girardi. Certain battle scenes are described by Girardi as an expert on each scene that he writes. From the incident with John Brown at Harpers Ferry, the book then takes you year by year into the Civil War (1861-1865).


Page after page is filled with the breathtaking art of Keith Rocco; one of the true masters of today’s military art world. Many of the paintings are from private collections as well as some that Mr. Rocco has decided to keep for himself. Others are pieces of art that hang in historical locations throughout the United States and more than likely throughout the entire world. Mr. Rocco has done several murals for the historical Pamplin Park in Virginia.

Unlike some of the other great artists, Keith Rocco follows the everyday life of the common soldier and not just the commanders with the famous names and endless deeds of daring. By doing this, Keith Rocco brings the Civil War to life on canvas. Every aspect of life during this period has attention brought to it. From drilling to camp life and of course, battle. The text of the book is an excellent part of the work which, when presented with the coinciding painting, brings the Civil War to life. The text is written so as to explain what is historically happening in the corresponding painting. From amateur to professional, this book is a definite must have. Not just for the amazing and beautiful artwork, but for the accompanying text as well.

If you are a collector of books on art, or of books pertaining to the Civil War, pick up this book when you get the first opportunity. With a somewhat hefty pricetag ($69.96 US), it would be worth setting aside a couple of books that you were planning to buy and saving the money to put into this work.

There are few books of this quality on the market. Grab one while you can.

"Hell for Glory-Pickett’s Charge" (1993) PG. 121

"Reynolds and Buford at Gettysburg" (1996) PG. 99

1 Comment

  1. Can you send me some civil war art brochures?
    William Abbott
    636 East Sixth St., Box 81
    Ogden, Utah 84404