This large etched and engraved portrait of Robert E. Lee, created in 1870 from a photograph taken during his lifetime, offers a stirring depiction of the Civil War General. Given that Lee passed away on October 12, 1870, the portrait, engraved by A.B. Walter, can be seen as an immediate tribute to his historical significance during a pivotal time in America's past.
This portrait was sold under the authority of the Lee Memorial Association. Proceeds from the sale were directed towards erecting a monument in honor of General R.E. Lee at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
The portrait has the facsimile signatures of Charles A. Davidson, Secretary, and General W.N. Pendleton, Chairman, and, poignantly, Robert E. Lee himself, making it a particularly significant memento following his recent passing.
Despite ongoing historical debates and controversies, the statue of Lee, funded by sales of this portrait, still stands at Washington & Lee University. The portrait, therefore, serves as not only a commemorative piece following Lee's death but also as an enduring focal point for discussions about his legacy.