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The Peacemakers


Title: The Peacemakers
Artist: Healy, George Peter Alexander    
Date of Work: 1868
Medium/Support: oil on canvas
Measurements: 47 1/8 x 62 5/8 in (119.7 x 159.1 cm)
Inscribed: No
Acquisition Information: U. S. government purchase
Acquisition Number: 947.2558.1
Credit Line: The White House Historical Association (White House Collection)
Scholar's Notes:

"The title is the only clue to the import of this solemn painting, a prelude to the end of the Civil War. Seated in the after cabin of the Union steamer River Queen are Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, President Abraham Lincoln, and Rear Adm. David D. Porter. Less than a week before the fall of Petersburg, Virginia, the four men met to discuss the nature of the peace terms to follow. . . . "The figures in The Peacemakers seem strangely isolated . . . . Meaning is embodied in their persons rather than their actions. Here, the separateness of each man is reinforced by the paneling and windows behind him. All heads are on the vertical, save Lincoln's. His inturned pose and brooding expression serve to differentiate him further. Behind him glows a rainbow, emblematic of the approaching peace."

Source of Scholar's Notes: Kloss, William, et al. Art in the White House: A Nation's Pride. Washington, D.C.: The White House Historical Association, 2008.
Page Number(s) in Source: 162, 164
People: Lincoln, Abraham; Grant, Ulysses S.; Sherman, William Tecumseh; Porter, David D.   
Categories: White House Art Collection, Images of Presidents  
Type: history paintings   
Orientation: Landscape
Image ID: 103
Date (chronological sort): 1868