Grant and Family
Framed whole plate
albumen print from a naive engraving of General Grant and his family, circa 1868. Mounted on a period oval mat with gilt border and printed title "Grant and Family." In a period oval walnut frame. Dimensions of frame 14 x 12 inches (35x30 cm). Print size 7.25 x 5 inches (18x13 cm). Price: $180. ( Inventory# ic720 )
Probably a campaign or campaign victory image related to Grant's presidential run in 1868, this folksy image presents a modern Cincinnatus who in the midst of his family still hears his nation's call. The call is represented by a Capitol dome whose direct symbolism recalls the famous image of the deceased Lincoln greeted in heaven by Washington's spirit. The naive composition, seen in objects not so much positioned in three-dimensional space as superimposed, carries over into the heads of Grant's children, whose faces seem to have each been copied from a different photograph.
Through the mixed medium of photographs turned into an engraving and again converted into a photograph, this humble image presents Grant as a humane family man, not unlike one's neighbors and fellow churchgoers. It is an image which its period owner could readily hang on his wall among the family portraits.
Frame has the original wooden backing board. It presents well, has some wear and what appears to be a small repair.
Last updated January 17, 2018
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