Work is underway on another painting, this time of Abraham Lincoln. In case you didn’t know Lincoln is far and away my favorite President, followed close behind by Washington, Jefferson, and Reagan. Lincoln, however, has been a return subject for me on a number of occasions. I’m not sure if it is because of what he accomplished as President, how he accomplished it, or simply because the nature of the man himself seems so out of character with so many others who have held that office.
The image I’m working from is also a long time favorite, taken by famed civil war era photographer Matthew Brady, who is responsible for most of the iconic Lincoln images. This one in particular shows President Lincoln in a very classical pose, with very dramatic lighting, and captures what I believe is the real Lincoln. If you spend enough time looking at the photograph you begin to realize that despite the toll of war and the presidency and likely illness, Lincoln remained a physically substantial person. His hands are those of a man who has done labor, and strength in how he carries himself. But it is the look on his face, and contemplative gesture of his hand, that really seems to bring out what I want to believe was the real quality Lincoln brought to the office. He was a man of thought and principle in a time when reason and decency were not always at the forefront in our nation.
Stop by at my Work in Progress page for more photos as the painting moves along. Barry