Lincoln Finale Bust

SKU ID #263110

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  • Dimensions: 7.5"
This portrait owes its inspiration to the last photograph of the President, taken by Alexander Gardner on April 10, 1865. The news of Lee’s surrender had reached the White House only hours earlier. The end of the civil war was imminent, but after the strain of the war no relief was in sight for the man at the helm. Lincoln’s grand scheme for winning the peace, his policy of reconciliation, was opposed by a strong wing of his own party. Another violent struggle loomed ahead, political battles of far reaching importance, of fearful magnitude. Lincoln showed clearly the marks of his ordeal. While the unwieldy camera was slowly brought into focus, he recited five lines from Macbeth — the same lines which the day before, on his way back to Washington aboard the River Queen, had moved him so strongly that he read them aloud:

"Duncan is in his grave;
After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well;
Treason has done its worst; nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
Can touch him further."

Four days later he fell from the bullet of a mad assassin.

Leo Cherne, known as a leading economist, advisor to governments and business institutions, and Executive Director of the Research Institute of America, has been a serious artist since an early age. His Head of Albert Schweitzer is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. A bronze portrait of Jean Sibelius by Cherne is in the Sibelius Museum in Helsinki, Finland. In order to capture Lincoln in his last days, Cherne made a thorough study of Lincoln’s face which he describes as “a palimpsest of human paradox.” Carl Sandburg called Cherne’s portrait, “...a superbly keen sculpture. This is the best representative plastic art shaping of Lincoln that I have met.” The bronze original of this portrait head is at the Lincoln Museum at Washington, D.C.

Size: 7.5"

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