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    Winfield Scott Hancock, (1824-1886), Union General, an original watercolor bust portrait of Meade Signed "Winfd. S. Hancock Major Genl. U. S. Vol[unteer]s Camp 2d. Corps." 9" x 11", no place given [likely before Petersburg, Virginia], no date [c. October 1864]. This chest-up portrait is by the noted Norwegian-born artist Ole Peter Hansen Balling (1823-1906) who was in the area composing life studies his heroic oil painting, Grant and His Generals, which depicts Grant riding triumphantly beside twenty six of his generals, including Meade, and which was completed in 1865; it hangs at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. In order to finish that dramatic work, Balling traveled to Union army encampments to compose life studies of his subjects. In the autumn of 1864, he spent five weeks in and around City Point, Virginia for the purpose of painting life portraits of Grant and his field officers. He also painted Philip Sheridan while the latter was in service in the Shenandoah Valley, as well as William Sherman and George H. Thomas, in Washington, after the war. The finished painting was published to raise funds for the Sanitary Commission, a private organization for aiding sick and wounded soldiers. After comparing the sketch of Hancock here to his representation in Grant and His Generals, it appears to be quite likely that this was a study for that painting. The painting is accompanied by a letter from Hancock's assistant, John S. Wharton, A.L.S., one page, 5.25" x 8.5", Governor's Island, New York, June 18, 1881 to W. C. Crane of New York noting that "General Hancock is in receipt of your letter.... and requests me to say that Mr Balling did take a sketch of him about 1864; whether the on your [sic] refer to, is the one, the General is unable to determine... Ole Peter Hansen Balling was born in Oslo, and emigrated to New York in 1856. He also painted portraits of John Brown, James Garfield, and Chester A. Arthur, all of which hang in the National Portrait Gallery. Provenance: the Oliver R. Barrett Lincoln Collection, Parke-Bernet Galleries, February 20, 1952, Lot 489. Feint toning, pin holes at extreme corners, minor age wear, but the color remains quite vibrant and a clear, dark signature. Fine condition.

    Please Note: A similar study of General George G. Meade by Balling also appears in this catalog. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 715

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