Sunday, August 10, 2008
William Tecumseh Sherman. As much a lion as a man. There were a few exceptional photos taken of Sherman. This one is my favorite because of the quality of the photo, and Sherman's more complex expression. There are many things revealed on that face. The magic of a good portrait. The scratches and markings around the edge would have been hidden by a frame. To our modern eye, however, the flaws in the image lend authenticity and context about the media itself.
I can't find a definitive source for the photo, but it was probably taken by Matthew Brady in Washington in 1869. Sherman received his 4th star in March 1869 after assuming command of the Army upon Grant's inauguration. It would make sense to have a formal portrait made at that time.