Where a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Historical Realism
"September 22, 1862-The Will of God Prevails"
The morning the Emancipation Proclamation is read to his cabinet.
Abraham Lincoln
Original oil on canvas 30" x 40 "

"The Will of God Prevails"
from Lincoln's Meditation of the Divine Will

When I began my research for my painting, I was drawn to Lincoln’s own words when he said." I made a solemn vow before God, that if General Lee is driven back...I will crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves."

On September 22, 1862, Lincoln gathered his cabinet and read aloud his Emancipation Proclamation. My painting is a snapshot of his cluttered desk that morning prior to the called meeting as he "dressed it over a little".  The soon to be read document's four pages, sit on a copy of the Declaration of Independence that Lincoln proclaimed is ‘the Father of all moral principle’. The small note on the brim of his hat, written in Lincoln's hand, refers to the first line from his "Meditation of the Divine Will" written in early September, 1862. In his stovepipe hat is Special Order #191 that was discovered lying on the ground just days later by two Union soldiers, detailing General Lee's orders for the Invasion of Maryland. Also in his hat, a telegram from General McClellan confirming that Lee was driven back at Antietam on September 17th and giving the President the victory he needs to formally announce his Emancipation Proclamation.

Slumped forward in Lincoln’s hat is Jack the Doll, a soldier doll played with by Lincoln’s boys, Tad and Willie and dressed in a fiery red and blue Zouave uniform. His story reveals the horrors of war as he is branded a deserter one day, a spy the next and even falls asleep at his post. After hanging or death by firing squad, the boys would bury him in the Rose Garden.  After being dug up numerous times, a mock trial was held with their father, where he proclaims,  “the doll Jack is pardoned by order of the President".

"Shall then, thenceforward and forever, be free." These seven words, from the final sentence of the first draft, and only slightly changed for this draft, changed a war and the lives of so many are written on another scrap of paper and became the starting point for my painting. The family Bible as well as numerous books including the "War Powers of the President" and the morning newspaper, each with their own significance are placed strategically completing the scene showing Lincoln's  greatest  document.

"September 22, 1862 - The Will of God Prevails" is now available in two different sizes as limited edition signed and numbered giclees on canvas and can be purchased rolled and mailed or framed, crated and shipped.
Gary Kutscher - Huntington Beach, California - 714-330-8048