The monument took four years to build and was sculpted by the Piccirilli brothers under the guidance of artist Daniel Chester French. Daniel Chester French spent several years examining and studying images of Abraham Lincoln. He based his sculpture on a photograph taken in 1866 when Lincoln gave a speech in Richmond, Virginia.
The memorial features Abe Lincoln sitting with one leg resting on a chair and holding a book with his other hand. His right arm is bent at the elbow and holds a pen. One hand is raised as if in protest or appeal over the crowd below. The other hand is clasped together in a gesture of humility or prayer.
French also based his design on a portrait of Lincoln by Mathew Brady. In addition, he used as a model an antique statue of Mars (the Roman god of war) that was located in the city where he worked. The Piccirillis added some of their own ideas to French's design including the placement of Abe's face and the details of his clothing. They also included two allegorical figures representing Peace and Justice standing behind Lincoln.
The memorial was completed in 1922 and stands today in Washington, D.C., near the Capitol. It is a national landmark and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1970.
Sculpted by Daniel Chester French (1850–1931) and carved by the Piccirilli Brothers, Abraham Lincoln (1920) is a giant sitting sculpture of United States President Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). It is part of the Lincoln Memorial (built 1914–1922) on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and was revealed in 1922. The memorial was designed by American artist Frederick Hart (1857–1931), who also designed the Emancipation Memorial which stands near it. The sculpture was originally called "The Immortal Lincoln."
French was an American sculptor best known for his monumental figures and monuments. He had already created two other seated sculptures of presidents when he was asked to sculpt Lincoln because no other sculptor had been hired. French began working on the project in 1919 and completed it within six months at his studio in New York City. The carving of the image itself was done by the Piccirilli Brothers, Italian immigrants who established themselves in Baltimore as stone carvers.
Lincoln's face is modeled after a photograph taken by Mathew Brady in 1864 just weeks before his death. The sculpture has been criticized for being too dignified and aloof instead of emotional and human like Brady's photo would have shown. However, French said he wanted to create a timeless image that would appeal to people of all nations and all times, one that would convey the message of hope and courage that had inspired so many during Lincoln's own time and since his death.
Daniel Chester French (1850–1921) sculpted Lincoln's statue, which was made from plaster molds of Lincoln's hands and face. The edifice was constructed of Colorado marble, while Lincoln's monument was crafted with pieces of Georgia marble. The total cost of the project was $25,000 ($350,000 in today's dollars).
Lincoln's statue stands at a height of nearly 30 feet and is considered one of the largest bronze statues in the world. It was unveiled on October 31, 1925, in front of an audience of over 50,000 people who had come to see President Calvin Coolidge lay the cornerstone of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.
The memorial was designed by John Russell Pope (1867–1948), who also designed Mount Rushmore. Lincoln's memorial was inspired by Michelangelo's David and is based on a photo taken by Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975) during a visit to Washington in 1866—a year after the assassination attempt on Lincoln.
Lincoln's memorial consists of three groups or "sections": Peace, Memory, and Action. These sections are based on poems written by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–92) for the occasion. The poems reflect upon Lincoln's sacrifice for his country and call for peace among nations.
The figure of Lincoln gazes directly ahead and slightly downward with an expression of gravity and solemnity. His frock coat is unbuttoned, and a large United States flag is draped over the chair's back and sides.
The monument took four years to build and was sculpted by the Piccirilli brothers under the guidance of artist Daniel Chester French. Daniel Chester French spent several years examining and studying images of Abraham Lincoln.
The Lincoln Memorial is made of five different types of stone. Indiana limestone is one type of stone. Yule Marble is another name for a kind of stone. This second type of stone is mined in Colorado.