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This lithographed full-length portrait of Abraham Lincoln, by or after John Chester Buttre, presents the 16th President of the United States in a poised and contemplative stance, with his left hand on his hip and right hand resting on a table adorned with books, an oil lamp, and a significant document on constitutional freedom. Rendered in a room reflecting the classical style, complete with a large column, drapery, a rococo chair, and a Persian carpet, this image is imbued with symbolism and artistry. Lincoln's hand's proximity to a document reading "FREEDOM" potentially alludes to the Emancipation Proclamation, dating the print to circa 1863.

Amidst the Civil War, President Lincoln's leadership faced immense challenges, including the contentious issue of slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863, was a seminal moment in the conflict, declaring that all enslaved persons in Confederate-held territory were to be set free. This legal and symbolic act became a turning point in the struggle for civil rights and the abolition of slavery in America.

The artistic composition itself resonates with the values and aspirations of the time. The inclusion of classical elements, the ornate chair, and the Persian carpet may signify virtues such as wisdom, strength, and refinement. The portrayal of Lincoln in this domestic yet stately setting, coupled with the objects around him, creates an image that is both presidential and accessible. The printed facsimile signature in the lower right corner adds an additional layer to the piece.

This lithograph is not only a visually arresting representation of President Lincoln but a historical artifact that encapsulates the political and social zeitgeist of the Civil War era. It stands as one of the more famous Lincoln compositions, appearing in many variations and different matrixes, reflecting the enduring fascination and respect for a leader whose actions continue to shape the nation's conscience and identity. By intertwining artistry with historical significance, this piece offers a nuanced perspective on a monumental figure and the ideals that defined his presidency.

Condition Description
Backed with archival tissue. Numerous tears professionally mended and retouched. Marginal losses filled and retouched, in some cases with minor manuscript facsimile.