Recorded in A.B. Paine's "Thomas Nast". Edwar Eberstadt & Sons and two other brokers purchased this from a White Plains estate broker who acquired Nast's estate. The painting was purchased for the museum from Edward Eberstadt & Sons.
Portrait shows Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870), full length seated in an arm chair, facing forward, in uniform. His head is down; eyes closed. His hands rest on his knees and hold his sword which lays across his lap. To his right is a round marble topped table on which his campaign hat lays. There is a window in the left rear background before which stands a full length figure who is pulling aside the window curtain and gazing out of the window. At the right rear background stands a figure, head about 3/4 forward, before a desk or cabinet. The figure at the window is Colonel Orville E. Babcock and Colonel Charles Marshall, A.D.C. Secretary to General Lee Stands before the desk or cabinet. Lee has white hair, beard and moustache.
Thomas Nast’s portrait of Lee as a conquered yet noble figure became part of a Southern mythology that ignored many of the more difficult issues related to the Civil War, particularly slavery and secession.