Head of Abraham Lincoln
Date: cast c.1923; from head of The Standing Lincoln in Lincoln Park, Chicago, 1884-1888
Medium: Bronze with marble base
Dimensions: 23 × 9 × 12 in. (58.4 × 22.9 × 30.5 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Rufus Erickson, 2002
About: This sculpture is based on the head of Saint-Gaudens’ Standing Lincoln made for Lincoln Park in Chicago in the 1880s. The sculptor formed his conception of Lincoln’s physiognomy from personal memory, photographs of the president, and from a life cast made of Lincoln’s face in 1860 by the sculptor Leonard W. Volk.
Saint-Gaudens was so moved by what he knew and learned about Abraham Lincoln that the final form of the Chicago standing figure transformed the stern visage of a homely gentleman into a contemplative and compassionate man. The Standing Lincoln was widely acclaimed after its 1887 unveiling not only as a true likeness but as an archetype of this great man.
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