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:
"[The artist paints the president in a] listening, absorbed pose. ". . . [T]he figure is pulled forward from the murky olive-gray background by the sculptural modeling, the concentration of light upon hands and face, the lack of competing accessories. . . . Healy molds [the chair] to the President's body and turns the gilt wood and red brocade into a perfect foil for the strongly projected figure. . . . "The portrait was painted in Paris and sent to Washington in response to an act of Congress (March 3, 1869) authorizing a Lincoln portrait for the White House."
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