Skip to main content

Ulysses S. Grant

Thomas Nast, 27 Sep 1840 - 7 Dec 1902
Vanity Fair, active 1914 - 1936
Ulysses Simpson Grant, 27 Apr 1822 - 23 Jul 1885
Watercolor on paper
Image: 29.8 x 18.5 cm (11 3/4 x 7 5/16")
Mount: 44 x 29.8 cm (17 5/16 x 11 3/4")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6 cm (22 x 16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
Exhibition Label
It was one of General Ulysses S. Grant's small good fortunes after the Civil War, as he began settling into the White House as the eighteenth president, to count one of the nation's leading political cartoonists, Thomas Nast, as a friend. In part, Grant attributed his election to the presidency in 1868 "to the pencil of Nast"; the cartoonist was a staunch supporter of both Grant and the Republican Party. NastHe developed a camaraderie with the president and the first family, as this watercolor drawing of Grant might suggest. On the other hand, Nast had unleashed all of his satiric talents in criticizing the former administration of President Andrew Johnson for being too lenient toward the unreconstructed former Confederate states. Yet Nast's drawing of Grant has, in hindsight, become a caricature of his "armchair" presidency, one in which he relegated too much authority to untrustworthy subordinates, an interpretation that the artist never intended to suggest.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection