Philadelphia: Ledger & Co. Printing Establishment, .
Small handbill. 5-3/8 x 4 inches. Small hole in upper margin Item #323576
American painter Francis Bicknell Carpenter (1830-1900) lived in the White House while he worked on his large-scale painting titled First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln, finishing it in 1864. The "painting deals in its subject matter with a significant historical crisis, though the mood is static and calm. Modern-day viewers may need to be reminded that Carpenter's work treats one of the core issues in preserving the Union: freedom. To memorably convey the magnitude of this historic decision was beyond the ability of Carpenter, whose ambition was not matched by his artistic talent or training. The quality of the painting does not do justice to the significance of the subject, but not for lack of commitment or energy on Carpenter's part. With the president's full cooperation in his endeavor, Carpenter arranged for the dramatis personae—Lincoln and his cabinet—to be photographed in Mathew Brady's studio and again in the White House. He also heard the story of the evolution of the proclamation from President Lincoln himself. In six months he had completed his heroically scaled work" (www.senate.gov).
Carpenter exhibited the painting in Washington and in cities across the Union to great acclaim, including the present exhibition in Philadelphia in March 1865, and he later wrote an account of his experiences, Six Months in the White House. In 1877, Elizabeth Thompson of New York City bought the canvas from the artist for $25,000 and offered it as a gift to the nation. On February 12, 1878, the 69th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, Congress met in joint session to formally accept the work. It still hangs in the Capitol.
Price: $1,500.00 Free International Delivery