Jeffrey S. Evans & Assoc., Inc.
Live Auction

June 17, 2023: Premier Americana – Day Two

Sat, Jun 17, 2023 09:00AM EDT
Lot 2028


Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$200 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$30,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

ALFRED RUDOLF WAUD (BRITISH-AMERICAN, 1828-1891) PORTRAIT OF GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE, oil on canvas, an oval Civil War-era bust-length depiction of Lee in his uniform facing slightly to the left, signed and inscribed to verso "R E Lee / A. R. Waud / 1863". Housed in a period gilt and gesso oval frame. Dated 1863. 7 1/2" x 5 1/2" canvas, 11 3/4" x 9 3/4" OA.
Catalogue Note: Alfred Rudolph Waud (1828-1891) was a British-born artist who studied at the School of Design at Somerset House in London as a young man. In 1858, Waud journeyed to the United States with his brother, William, and quickly found employ as an illustrator in the mid-19th century boom market for print media. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Waud joined forces with Harper's Weekly and other like publications as an artist-correspondent producing thousands of battlefield, portrait, and genre sketches over the course of the war. Waud, who was eventually named the most important artist-correspondent of the Civil War by Harper's, was embedded with Union forces from Bull Run to Appomattox and was a first-hand witness to some of the bloodiest battles in American History. Described in some sources as "armed to the teeth" during his time as a war correspondent, Waud was depicted in an 1861 photograph by Matthew Brady with a sketchbook in hand and a revolver and fighting knife tucked into his belt. What's more, Waud often traveled from skirmish to skirmish with Brady and his photographers in their curious wagon, where the two naturally developed a friendship as well as a working relationship in which Waud often relied on Brady Studio images to produce sketches for national publication. In fact, it is likely a Brady image of Robert E. Lee that Waud used as one of his models for the present composition. Indeed, at the time of Waud's death, his estate contained over 1,200 Civil War-period photographic images by Matthew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and others.
The present portrait likely comes from the collection of Fred Maloof, a wealthy 20th-century collector of historical art and artifacts, who owned Oxon Hill Manor, a historic property in Prince George County, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. An October 28, 1959 article in the Evening Star, a Washington, DC publication, describes an exhibit of objects from the Maloof Collection, among which is a "portrait of Gen. Lee ... signed and dated 1863 by Alfred R. Waud". The article goes on to state that Waud "was a close personal friend of the general", and while no direct connection between the two has been established, the artist is known to have been intimately involved in the close observation of all aspects of the war, with unprecedented access to both enlisted men and officers from both sides. 
The appearance of the present portrait on the open market represents a rare opportunity to acquire an unrecorded likeness of an extremely important 19th-century figure by one of the period's most significant artists.


Image in very good condition with minor craquelure and areas of discoloration, some minor paint losses to canvas outside of image and obscured by frame. Frame with losses and wear, lacking part of back board.

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From a Charles Town, WV private collection.