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Abraham Lincoln

Artist
George Peter Alexander Healy, 15 Jul 1813 - 24 Jun 1894
Sitter
Abraham Lincoln, 12 Feb 1809 - 15 Apr 1865
Date
1887
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 188 × 137cm (74 × 53 15/16")
Frame (Verified): 212.7 x 162.6 x 9.2cm (83 3/4 x 64 x 3 5/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the National Gallery of Art; gift of the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, 1942
Object number
NPG.65.50
Exhibition Label
Sixteenth president, 1861–1865
Abraham Lincoln, a self-educated frontier lawyer from Illinois, faced one of the greatest challenges as president: preserving the Union. He initially framed the Civil War as a Constitutional crisis over secession, but as fighting intensified, his aims evolved to include reunification based on the abolition of slavery. In 1865, when the war ended, he proposed a program of Southern reconstruction that would require African American civil rights, but before he could implement it, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. George Peter Alexander Healy painted a life portrait of Lincoln in 1860, but he had to rely on other portraits to make this image, one of four he created after Lincoln’s death. All are derived from Healy’s 1869 group portrait The Peacemakers, which features the president, Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant, and Admiral David D. Porter as they discuss strategy near the end of the Civil War.
16o presidente, 1861–1865
Abraham Lincoln, un abogado autodidacto de Illinois, se enfrentó a uno de los retos más grandes como presidente: conservar la Unión. En un principio, caracterizó la Guerra Civil como una crisis constitucional en torno a la secesión de los estados, pero al intensificarse el conflicto, su meta fue cambiando hasta incluir la reunificación cimentada en la abolición de la esclavitud. En 1865, al fin de la guerra, Lincoln propuso un programa de reconstrucción sureña que implicaría derechos civiles para los afroamericanos, pero antes de que pudiera implementarlo fue asesinado por John Wilkes Booth. George Peter Alexander Healy pintó un retrato del natural de Lincoln en 1860, pero para la presente imagen tuvo que basarse en uno de cuatro que realizó después de muerto el presidente. Todos se derivan de un retrato de grupo hecho por Healy en 1869, The Peacemakers (Los pacificadores), que presenta a los generales William T. Sherman y Ulysses S. Grant y al almirante David D. Porter discutiendo estrategias hacia el final de la Guerra Civil.
Provenance
Elihu Washburn [1816-1887]; his brother William Drew Washburn; his estate; (M. Knoedler & Co.), New York; purchased 26 December 1934 by The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift to NGA 1942; transferred 1965 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, South Gallery 240