George P.A. Healy
Abraham Lincoln, 1860
Oil on canvas
30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm)
Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund) 2014.79.22
Image Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

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watch 16th U.S. President; Term of Office: 1861-1865
In 1860, Chicago-based portraitist George P.A. Healy painted this bust of the President-elect from life. It represents one of the last significant painted depictions of Abraham Lincoln, then 51 years old, before the politician began to grow his signature beard. A few months after this sitting, the Kentucky native would become the 16th president of the United States. His already notably gaunt features would age rapidly as a result of the burdens and cares of his presidential term. As the leader responsible for steering the country through the entirety of the Civil War, Lincoln’s increasingly worn and haggard face came to be viewed as a visual metaphor for the tensions and anxieties of a terribly divided nation. In April 1865, 6 days after General Lee’s surrender, Lincoln was assassinated.
Select facts derived from the www.NGA.gov collection object page: Abraham Lincoln.

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