Letter from G. P. A. HEALY to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated December 3, 1868.
Hon. Geo. P. Marsh.
My dear friend.
I have been here two months working hard on a picture of The Peace
Makers; which represents the interview that took place in the cabin of the
steamer River Queen at City Point, when General Sherman left his army after his
march to the sea, to confer with Lincoln, Grant and Vice Admiral Porter I enclose
you a photograph from the large canvass and also one from the study before it was
finished, this study I have sent by our man to Milan, Tuesday last, to have a cromo
Lithograph made which is to be finished by the 1 of Feb I have
had a photograph taken 20 1/2 inches by 30, This is to be the size of the cromo. I
beg you to inform me if there
is any law in Italy to protect a copyright? and so, if it would be worth while to have it taken or made use of to secure my work against any one, who might fancy his right as good as mine?
I am early and late at my work in order to have it done by Christmas, if so, I shall
have it in New York by the 1st of Febr and the cromos by the 1 of March.
I intend to have the man who exhibits the picutre to sell the C[r]omo Lithographs
which I expect will be very perfect. I have had but little time to see the sights
here, but am delighted with Rome, which is so unlike Chicago! At first the air did
not agree with me, but now thank God, I am quite well and never felt more like work,
which work I should greatly like to show you and Mrs. Marsh to whom pray remember me
in the kindest manner. I think I shall have
to go to Milan to superintend the finish of the work there. I shall very likely send the study 4 by 5 feet some inches, to the exhibition at the Royal Academy London. On my way home from Milan, I shall do myself a real happiness, viz. to see you and yours.
My wife and children gave me a most interesting account of all your and Mrs. Marsh's kindness to them a year ago.
Devotedly your friend,Geo. P. A. Healy
References in this letter:
General Willliam Tecumseh Sherman told Healy about a meeting held toward the end of the war, when he, General Ulysses S.Grant, and Admiral David D. Porter met with President Lincoln on board the River Queen to prepare for the coming peace. Healy began a large group portrait based on this incident in America and completed it in his studio in Rome in 1868.
The American portrait painter, George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-1894), was one of the most popular artists of his time. He is known for his paintings of presidents, statesman, and members of Society on both sides of the Atlantic. A native of Boston, he studied in France under Antoine-Jean Gros and established a studio in Paris. In 1840, the U.S. Minister to France, General Lewis Cass, introduced Healy to King Louis Phillippe, and his reputation was established in Europe. In all, Healy made thirty trans-Atlantic trips but settled in Chicago at the behest of a wealthy Illinois businessman, William Butler Ogden.