CHARLES LORING ELLIOTT
1812 - 1868
PORTRAIT OF JOHN BIGELOW
signed Elliott and dated 1853 (lower right)
oil on canvas
34 x 44 ¼ inches (86.4 x 112.4 cm)
There appear to be frame abrasions along the extreme outer edges and the tacking edges covered in brown paper. Under UV light there appear to be pindots of inpaint throughout and a 1-inch vertical break in the canvas which has been repaired with a corresponding patch on the reverse and inpainted accordingly. There appears to be a small section above the figure's head and in the figure's hair which read strongly under UV light but appears to be the artist's original work.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Collection of John Morehead, New York
M. Knoedler & Co, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1969
The sitter in the present work is politician and author John Bigelow (1817-1911). During his earlier career as a journalist, Bigelow became co-owner and editor of the New York Evening Post in 1848. He would later serve as editor at the New York Times in 1869. A reformed Democrat and proponent of the Union’s anti-slavery agenda, Bigelow was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as American Council in Paris in 1861. During his time abroad in France, he was crucial in cementing European allies to help promote the Union cause and weaken the Confederate party’s appeal for aid in the American Civil War. Having returned to New York in 1875, Bigelow was appointed New York Secretary of State and was involved in the founding of The New York Public Library. John Bigelow Plaza was named in his memory in front of the library at the corner of 41st street and Fifth Avenue.