Whitman on Abraham Lincoln

Walt Whitman

When Walt Whitman was a Washington correspondent for The New York Times, the Capitol dome, like the nation, was still under construction. Credit via Library of Congress.

“None of the artists or pictures have caught the deep, though subtle and indirect expression of this man’s [Lincoln’s] face,” he wrote. “They have only caught the surface. There is something else there. One of the great portrait painters of two or three centuries ago is needed.”

(Will Dudding, “When Walt Whitman Reported for The New York Times,” NYTimes, 10-24-18)

(c) 2018 JMN.

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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3 Responses to Whitman on Abraham Lincoln

  1. Eric Wayne says:

    I wonder how much better Lincoln’s visage could have been captured. He’s got one of the most distinctive faces every reproduced in art.

    • JMN says:

      True. His face is like a landscape. Craggy doesn’t begin to describe it. It’s interesting to me that, in his comment, Whitman invokes great portraitists from prior centuries. I wonder who was painting during the Civil War who might have done justice to Lincoln? Speaking of visages, Whitman had a striking one, too!

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