The Portraits

Staff member working in collections and putting a painting away

Abraham Lincoln

Artist
Fetter's Picture Gallery, active dates unknown
Copy after
Unidentified Artist
Sitter
Abraham Lincoln, 12 Feb 1809 - 15 Apr 1865
Date
c. 1860 (after c. 1858 original)
Type
Photograph
Medium
Ninth-plate ambrotype (copy plate)
Dimensions
Case Open: 7.3 x 12.4 cm (2 7/8 x 4 7/8")
Case Closed: 7.3 x 6.2 cm (2 7/8 x 2 7/16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
NPG.81.25
Exhibition Label
Born Hardin County, Kentucky
In 1858, at the time of his fourth debate with Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln yielded to the request of Mrs. Harriet Chapman for a photographic portrait. When sending the resulting image to Chapman, who was his stepmother’s granddaughter, Lincoln noted, "This is not a very good-looking picture but it’s the best that could be produced from the poor subject." One of several contemporaneous copies of the original portrait, this laterally reversed ambrotype presents a mirror image of its subject, so that Lincoln’s distinctive mole appears on the left rather than the right side of his face.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection