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    Description

    "It would be impracticable for any future portrait painter who had not known him in life to put the real Lincoln on canvas."

    ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
    Freeman Woodcock Thorp (American, 1844-1922).
    Oil on canvas.
    16.5" x 21" sight size. Framed to an overall 21" x 26".

    Painting the "perfect" Lincoln was a lifelong mission for Thorp. He got close enough to sketch his hero at least twice: once when Lincoln's Inaugural Train had to make a stop in Geneva, Ohio in 1861, and again at the Gettysburg battlefield in 1863. Our research has shown that Thorp made as many as five paintings of Lincoln from these sketches and his memories of the great man. One, of course, was commissioned by Congress in 1920 and is still hanging in the Senate Wing of the U.S. Capitol (the only Lincoln portrait there). Others of his Lincoln portraits have, at one time or another, been located in Minnesota at Camp Lincoln for Boys, the Pequot Lakes Post Office (almost certainly this present example), and Carleton College. Thorp's daughter, Sarah Thorp Heald, donated one of the original sketches from life to the Crow Wing County Historical Society. The other life sketch (Gettysburg) was donated by Thorp's grandson, Joseph Heald, to Dwight Eisenhower in 1957 who placed it in the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, Kansas.

    Thorp wrote a letter to the Joint Committee of Congress in 1920 describing the intensity with which he had observed Lincoln: "I studied him very carefully and thoroughly from life just before his inauguration, and later at the White House and at Gettysburg when he made his famous address, sketching him, making a descriptive delineation such as artists use, memorizing his expression and how he looked when animated." The artist believed that these observations allowed him to create an accurate portrait of the president, and that "it would be impracticable for any future portrait painter who had not known him in life to put the real Lincoln on canvas." It is not often that a quality portrait of Lincoln from life is offered for sale. Don't let this opportunity pass you by.

    Condition:
    Paint surface exhibits craquelure throughout, otherwise excellent.

    For more information on the fascinating history of Freeman Thorp and his paintings, please visit this link.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,315

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