"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Abraham Lincoln

This 1917 cast of an 1865 life mask of Abraham Lincoln by Clark Mills can be seen in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"In early 1865 Abraham Lincoln consented to having another life mask made of him, this time by sculptor Clark Mills. The process began with an application of oil over Lincoln's face, followed by a thin coat of plaster paste. After fifteen minutes, Mills asked Lincoln to twitch his face, and plaster fell off in large pieces into a cloth. Mills then reassembled the pieces to form the finished mask. A comparison between this and Leonard Volk's 1860 mask shows the Civil War's great toll on Lincoln's health. One friend who saw him a few weeks after this mask was made noted that Lincoln "looked badly and felt badly" -- National Portrait Gallery

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