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Grant and His Generals

Artist
Ole Peter Hansen Balling, 13 Apr 1823 - 1 May 1906
Sitter
Thomas Casimer Devin, 10 Dec 1822 - 4 Apr 1878
George Armstrong Custer, 5 Dec 1839 - 25 Jun 1876
Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, 14 Jan 1836 - 2 Dec 1881
William Hemsley Emory, 7 Sep 1811 - 1 Dec 1887
Philip Henry Sheridan, 6 Mar 1831 - 5 Aug 1888
James Birdseye McPherson, 14 Nov 1828 - 22 Jul 1864
George Crook, 8 Sep 1830 - 21 Mar 1890
Wesley Merritt, 16 Jun 1834 - 3 Dec 1910
George Henry Thomas, 31 Jul 1816 - 28 Mar 1870
Gouverneur Kemble Warren, 8 Jan 1830 - 8 Aug 1882
George Gordon Meade, 31 Dec 1815 - 6 Nov 1872
John Grubb Parke, 22 Sep 1827 - 16 Dec 1900
William Tecumseh Sherman, 8 Feb 1820 - 14 Feb 1891
John Alexander Logan, 9 Feb 1826 - 26 Dec 1886
Ulysses Simpson Grant, 27 Apr 1822 - 23 Jul 1885
Ambrose Everett Burnside, 23 May 1824 - 13 Sep 1881
Joseph Hooker, 13 Nov 1814 - 31 Oct 1879
Winfield Scott Hancock, 14 Feb 1824 - 9 Feb 1886
John Aaron Rawlins, 13 Feb 1831 - 6 Sep 1869
Edward Otho Cresap Ord, 18 Oct 1818 - 22 Jul 1883
Francis Preston Blair, Jr., 19 Feb 1821 - 9 Jul 1875
Alfred Howe Terry, 10 Nov 1827 - 16 Dec 1890
Henry Warner Slocum, 24 Sep 1827 - 14 Apr 1894
Jefferson Columbus Davis, 2 Mar 1828 - 30 Nov 1879
Oliver Otis Howard, 8 Nov 1830 - 26 Oct 1909
John McAllister Schofield, 29 Sep 1831 - 4 Mar 1906
Joseph Anthony Mower, 22 Aug 1827 - 6 Jan 1870
Date
c. 1865
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
58.4 x 92.7cm (23 x 36 1/2")
Frame: 100.3 x 134.6 x 12.7cm (39 1/2 x 53 x 5")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the Library of Congress
Object number
S/NPG.76.8
Exhibition Label
As the Civil War moved into its final stages in the fall of 1864, the Norwegian artist Ole Peter Hansen Balling and a prosperous New Yorker conceived of the idea for a large equestrian painting depicting the commander of the Union armies, Ulysses S. Grant, flanked by an array of generals who served under him. Upon completion, the painting would be used to raise funds for the United States Sanitary Commission, a private organization for aiding sick and wounded soldiers. To obtain likenesses of the twenty-seven figures in the picture, Balling traveled to Union army encampments to make life studies of his subjects. Among the most cooperative was Grant, who gave Balling repeated opportunities to draw him as he rode with staff officers to survey the forward lines near his headquarters at City Point, Virginia.
The final rendering of Grant and His Generals approached being life-sized. Balling also painted this smaller version, most likely to serve as the template for a color lithograph of the picture. Today both paintings are in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection; the large version is on display in a nearby stairwell.
Left to right: Thomas C. Devin (1822–1878), George A. Custer (1839–1876), Hugh J. Kilpatrick (1836–1881), William H. Emory (1811–1887), Philip H. Sheridan (1831–1888), James B. McPherson (1828–1864), George Crook (1830–1890), Wesley Merritt (1834–1910), George H. Thomas (1816–1870), Gouverneur Kemble Warren (1830–1882), George G. Meade (1815–1872), John G. Parke (1827–1900), William T. Sherman (1820–1891), John A. Logan (1826–1886), Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), Ambrose E. Burnside (1824–1881), Joseph Hooker (1814–1879), Winfield Scott Hancock (1824–1886), John A. Rawlins (1831–1869), Edward O. C. Ord (1818–1883), Francis Preston Blair (1821–1875), Alfred H. Terry (1827–1890), Henry W. Slocum (1827–1894), Jefferson C. Davis (1828–1879), Oliver O. Howard (1830–1909), John M. Schofield (1831–1906), Joseph A. Mower (1827–1870)
Mientras la Guerra Civil se acercaba a su etapa final en el otoño de 1864, el artista noruego Ole Peter Hansen Balling y un próspero neoyorquino idearon hacer una pintura ecuestre de gran formato que representara al comandante de los ejércitos de la Unión, Ulysses S. Grant, flanqueado por un nutrido grupo de los generales que estaban bajo sus órdenes. El cuadro se utilizaría para recaudar fondos a beneficio del Comité Sanitario de Estados Unidos, organización privada que ayudaba a los soldados enfermos o heridos. Para poder hacer los retratos de los veintisiete personajes que aparecen en el cuadro, Balling visitó los campamentos de la Unión y dibujó bocetos del natural. Entre los modelos más cooperadores estuvo Grant, quien permitió a Balling dibujarlo en varias ocasiones mientras cabalgaba con sus oficiales para inspeccionar el frente de batalla cerca de su cuartel general en City Point, Virginia.
La versión final de Grant y sus generales es casi de tamaño natural. Balling también pintó esta versión más pequeña, probablemente como plantilla para una litografía a color. Hoy, ambas pinturas se encuentran en la colección de la National Portrait Gallery. La versión grande se expone en el vano de una escalera cercana.
Desde la izquierda: Thomas C. Devin (1822–1878), George A. Custer (1839–1876), Hugh J. Kilpatrick (1836–1881), William H. Emory (1811–1887), Philip H. Sheridan (1831–1888), James B. McPherson (1828–1864), George Crook (1830–1890), Wesley Merritt (1834–1910), George H. Thomas (1816–1870), Gouverneur Kemble Warren (1830–1882), George G. Meade (1815–1872), John G. Parke (1827–1900), William T. Sherman (1820–1891), John A. Logan (1826–1886), Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), Ambrose E. Burnside (1824–1881), Joseph Hooker (1814–1879), Winfield Scott Hancock (1824–1886), John A. Rawlins (1831–1869), Edward O. C. Ord (1818–1883), Francis Preston Blair (1821–1875), Alfred H. Terry (1827–1890), Henry W. Slocum (1827–1894), Jefferson C. Davis (1828–1879), Oliver O. Howard (1830–1909), John M. Schofield (1831–1906), Joseph A. Mower (1827–1870)
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 111