William Smith’s uncolored Lincoln and Family


Ad. Biegemann. “Lincoln and His Family.” Philadelphia: William Smith, ca. 1866. 18 x 24. Lithograph by D. Wiest. Very good condition. Holzer, et al., The Lincoln Image, Fig 87.

SKU: 17-100 Categories: ,


A very primitive rendering using the same theme as the print above. The publisher wanted to take advantage of the demand for images of the President without investing in a first-hand rendering. Thus his artist based the image of Lincoln on a photograph of the President and Tad taken in 1865. The image was reversed for the print, but because Biegemann wanted to show all three of Lincoln’s sons, including Willie who had died in 1862, the image of Tad from the photograph became Willie, and a figure of Tad as a younger boy was added. Robert is shown in uniform, even though he didn’t join the army until after the death of his brother Willie, near whom Robert is standing. The heads and bodies of all the figures are out of scale with each other, and the setting is most awkward. That such a print could be produced and sold by a major publishing house is an interesting reflection on the print market of the time, and a strong indication of the demand for images of Lincoln.