"I'm trying to tell a story. I like people to look at one of my paintings and feel like they could step into the scene."
While growing up, Ron Lesser was recognized for his extraordinary artistic potential. Following his graduation from New York's High School of Music and Art, he studied at the prestigious Pratt Institute of Art and Art Students League of New York under the influential artist and teacher, Frank J. Reilly.
Drawing on his extensive fine arts background he is inspired by the marvelous 19th century classical military painters such as Edouard Detaille, Alphonse De Neuville, Ernest Messionier and others. Ron focuses on those artists whose paintings most represent a dedication to realism and technical skill. It is his affinity with the masters of military art that sets a Ron Lesser painting apart from his contemporaries.
As a successful and versatile historical artist, Lesser created Western movie art for "High Plains Drifter," "Paint Your Wagon," "The Way West," and the storyboards for the dream sequence in "A Man Called Horse." He has painted the covers of Western book authors such as Louis L'Amour, Luke Short, Will Cook, Gordon Shirreffs and others. In addition to his singular vision of Native American life he more recently has created a significant body of work documenting America's Civil War.
The highly respected New York Art Directors Club, in existence since 1921, has twice honored Lesser for Best Movie Art of the Year and The Society of Illustrators of New York, founded in 1901, has bestowed on him numerous Gold Medals for his paintings.
Collected by museums and discriminating collectors, he has been featured in many prominent art publications, including Art Business News, Art World News, US Art, True West Magazine, and Southwest Art Magazine.
Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart's Controversial Ride to Gettysburg features Ron Lesser's beautiful painting of Jeb Stuart at Carlisle on the night of July 1, 1863. The original oil painting was commissioned by F&M Trust for the 2003 Commemoration of the 140th Anniversary of Jeb Stuart's shelling of Carlisle. Chapter 7 of the book features the most detailed narrative of Stuart's visit to Carlisle that evening ever documented.
Pictured here far left to right are: Capt. James Breathed - artillery, Capt. William W. Blackford - engineer. In foreground, left to right, Major Andrew Reid Venable-adjutant general's dept., Major General Jeb Stuart, 1st Lieutenant Garland Mitchell Ryals- cavalry, acting provost marshall Major Talcott Eliason - medical dept.
"Come at once, General Stuart, we are engaged at Gettysburg" . . . With these words from General Robert E Lee, Jeb Stuart abandons his midnight siege of the little Pennsylvania town of Carlisle and dashes with his cavalry and horse artillery to Gettysburg. At this moment neither Stuart nor Lee could imagine the importance of the battle that had just begun, or know that the very fate of the Confederacy rested on its outcome.
The authors and publisher are grateful to Ron Lesser for permitting his painting to be used for the cover of the book. Please visit his website.
Content and images © Ron Lesser and used with permission.
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