Life Mask (Abraham Lincoln)

  • Priscilla Roberts, Life Mask (Abraham Lincoln), 1961-1962, oil on board, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by David S. Purvis, 2009.12

Luce Center Label

Life Mask (Abraham Lincoln) shows two well-known sculptures—Leonard Volk's 1860 life mask of Abraham Lincoln and Nike of Samothrace, the classical sculpture of the winged goddess of victory. Life Mask (Abraham Lincoln) is open to many interpretations. The classical statue, silhouetted in the foreground, may symbolize Lincoln's victory during the Civil War, but the muted colors and deep shadows suggest a more somber meaning. Roberts leaves the viewer wondering if this painting celebrates Lincoln's legacy, represents his mortality, or suggests that victory was overshadowed by his death.

Title
Life Mask (Abraham Lincoln)
Artist
Date
1961-1962
On View
Dimensions
19 × 16 in. (48.3 × 40.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase made possible by David S. Purvis

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on board
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait male – Lincoln, Abraham – head
Object Number
2009.12
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

1946
oil on masonite

More Artworks from the Collection