Memorializing Abraham Lincoln
Striking commemorative engraving of profound historical significance, capturing the solemnity of a nation's loss. "In Memory of Abraham Lincoln," this poignant lithograph, immortalizes the moment of Lincoln's passing in an allegorical representation brimming with Victorian iconography.
The central figure of Abraham Lincoln is gracefully supported by an angel, symbolizing his ascension and the noble ideals he embodied. The surrounding figures, draped in classical garb, further enhance the scene's gravitas, each one epitomizing various states of mourning and veneration. The striking use of chiaroscuro imbues the print with a dramatic intensity, while the angelic ascent amidst the tempestuous clouds above juxtaposes the terrestrial sorrow with celestial peace.
This lithograph, steeped in the artistry of its time, offers not merely a visual eulogy to the fallen leader but also an invitation to reflect on the legacy of unity and liberty he championed.
Wiest followed the style of the 1801 engraving "Commemoration of Washington" by Barralet, but replacing Washington's head with Lincoln's, and changing the inscription on the tomb. Faith, Hope, and Charity welcome him into heaven. The shield in the lower left corner bears only the 15 stars of Washington's time, rather than the 35 stars of the union which Lincoln had worked so hard to restore. The badges of the Society of Cincinnati and the Freemasons hanging from the tomb were also far more appropriate for Washington than for Lincoln.