I recalled poignant eloquence of the letter to Mrs. Bixby and the Gardner photograph. The two elements – the image and the words – formed the basis of the portrait I wanted to create.”
The letter to Mrs. Bixby presents Lincoln’s offer of condolences following the death of her five sons in the course of the war. The entirety of this letter, in Lincoln’s handwriting, is incorporated into the background of the portrait. Lincoln concludes, referring the mother’s solemn pride, in having “…laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.”
So Costly a Sacrifice
9 by 12 inches
The portrait of Lincoln has the look of an oil painting. Inspired by the last photographic image by Alexander Gardner, the portrait incorporates photos of Civil War generals, maps, letters by Lincoln, and other artifacts of the war.
Before heading to Washington and its home in the West Wing of the White House, the Lincoln portrait was displayed in a Lincoln Bicentennial art exhibit in January 2009, followed by a show at the famed Cliff Dweller’s Club in Chicago, in February 2009.
The portrait, which was on display at the White House in Washington, D.C. since 2010, is now available for sale to a new owner.