Substance of a Town
Raphael Gleitsmann (American, 1910 – 1995)
MediumOil on board
DimensionsCanvas : 27 1/2 x 39 5/8 in. (69.85 cm x 1 m)
Frame : 34 5/8 x 46 3/4 in. (87.95 cm x 1.2 m)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelOhio artist Raphael Gleitsmann served as a combat engineer in Europe during World War II. Deeply troubled by the death and destruction he witnessed in the war, he used painting as a form of therapy to help himself recover emotionally from his post-traumatic stress. For nine years after the war, Gleitsmann produced canvases featuring desolate battlefields and ruined towns. His grimly powerful images won him national attention, including a first place finish in the prestigious Carnegie Institute Invitational of 1948. After working through his inner turmoil, Gleitsmann lost interest in painting and spent much of his remaining life working as a carpenter.