These are 2 separate paintings 19″ x 17″ placed together, then inside a tray frame. They are on a 1″ raised island in the middle. The two paintings and frame are 22″ x 22″ x 1.5″
The story, especially poignant for Memorial Day is of the only identical twin brothers to die in combat at the same time. One was identified but the other brother was not for 77 years. When his remains were finally identified a special service was held at Normandy and the boys were buried side by side, like they had been during their 19 years together.
Julius and Ludwig Pieper were unique in that when one got sick so did the other one, and when one would have an accident so would the twin. The irony of them dying together is not lost. I just had to make these two paintings for the memory of Julius and Ludwig.
Here is their story: Both Julius Pieper and Ludwig Pieper worked as radiomen in the US Navy. On 19th June 2018, Julius Pieper was laid to rest beside his twin brother Ludwig in Normandy after 74 years. For decades, Julius was known only as Unknown X-9352 at a World War II American cemetery in Belgium. The cemetery has 9380 graves and overlooks the English Channel and Omaha Beach. This was the site of the Allies’ Operation Overlord against Hitler’s stranglehold on France and Europe.
The 19-year-old Pieper brothers from Esmond, South Dakota, died together on June 19, 1944. Their flat-bottom ship hit an underwater mine as it tried to approach Utah Beach, 13 days after the D-Day landings. While Ludwig’s body was soon found, identified and laid to rest, his brother’s remains were only recovered in 1961. (The remains were identified only in 2017 by a US agency that tracks missing combatants.)
I painted these with metallic blue, red and opalescent white acrylics on heavy canvas, then glue on 1″ platforms prior to mounting inside the frame.