Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

A Painted Homage to A Political Giant: G.P.A. Healy’s Posthumous Portrait of President Lincoln

U.S. artist George Peter Alexander Healy’s (1813 – 1894) 1887 portrait of President Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) was the culmination of a career devoted to presidential portraiture. The image, conceived years after the sitter passed away, helps us understand the practice of nineteenth-century portraiture as much as the challenge of posthumous portrait painting. The result of Healy’s work is an iconic image of a political giant that still resonates today.