Philadelphia: James Wise, 1844. Mezzotint by John Sartain. Framed (1 1/2" gold leaf Federal frame with ribbed panel and acanthus lead corners, archival Antique white mat and UV Plexiglas). 17 x 11 1/2 inches. 30 x 22 1/2 inches.
A striking, full length portrait of Clay sitting in the country near his home, Ashland.
This full length portrait was issued during the 1844 presidential campaign, which was Henry Clay's (1777-1852) third and last time to be nominated by the Whigs. Fractious debates over the annexation of Texas and Oregon, as well as the policies on slavery, and the election was lost to James K. Polk (1795-1849). James Wise (fl. 1843-1860) worked as a portrait and miniature painter in New Orleans in 1843 and Charleston, S.C. in 1844-5. He also worked in Virginia and St. Joseph, Missouri, according to Croce and Wallace. John Sartain (1808-1897) also engraved a portrait of John C. Calhoun after this artist. Here is classic portraiture conveyed through the elegance that was so well expressed through mezzotint engraving. In a handsome suit, backed by solid pillars and surrounded by books, writing materials, and a terrestrial globe, "The Great Pacificator" stands in the pose of an ancient orator.