Morand, Pierre. Lincoln in Death Original Ink Drawing
A Unique Artifact
The True Last Image of Lincoln Drawn from the Flesh
Lincoln in His Coffin City Hall, New York City
Price On Request
Morand, Pierre. LINCOLN IN DEATH. Ink and Opaque White Gouache on Heavy Paper; Signed on verso: “Final Drawing / Pierre Morand” Witten on right front margin: “City Hall, New York / 25 April 1865” 4-3/4” x 6-1/2”; slightly irregular.
This drawing was done by a Frenchman named Pierre Morand, who moved to the United States and became acquainted with Abraham Lincoln after the Civil War began. Although not a professional, he made several endearing (and enduring) sketches of the president, because “In life Mr. Lincoln’s features and movements impressed me so vividly.” Among them were: Lincoln at the Soldiers’ Home just outside Washington, where the Lincolns spent the summer months; leaning against a tree reading a paper in 1864; another showing him carrying a satchel, walking from the Executive Mansion with his wife, Mary, perhaps going up to the Soldier’s Home; and a number of various informal poses of Lincoln during June, 1864.
Famously, Morand had contravened Secretary of War Edwin Stanton’s orders and sketched Lincoln in his coffin, probably bribing a guard to do it. He produced a well-known outline pencil sketch, around 2am in the morning of the April 25th. Back in his studio, he produced an intermediary rough ink portrait that was followed by this much more elaborate and detailed “Finished Drawing,” which has a high Victorian feel to it.
Morand had sketched Lincoln enough times “from life” that he was able to capture the essence of the man in death. Lincoln’s animated features are stilled and at rest, as only death can bring. Eyes closed and his face in its death pallor, his head makes an impression on the tasseled pillow beneath. Dressed in his usual suit, with his bow tie straighter than normal and a slight wrinkle in his shirt, numerous flowers are draped around the coffin.
In excellent condition.