Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Portrait
Title Henry Clay
Catalog Number 1909.5
Creator Frye, William
Date ca 1865
Material(s) Oil on canvas
Dimensions H-126 W-84 inches
Description This full length portrait shows Henry Clay with gray hair and blue-gray eyes. His right hand is extended outward and the left is clinched at the waist. He is wearing a black suit, black stock, and shoes with silver buckles. He is also wearing a white shirt. There is a black cape or coat with a silver lining draped on a chair with a black hat lying on a table. There is a gray and brown background with red drapery in the upper right. There is a brown and tan floor and a table covered in dark green. In the lower right there are red and tan books, some paper, and a gold and black ink stand with a gray quill pen. In addition there is a brown chair with red upholstery on the left side of the painting.
Notes The Kentucky state legislature at its 1864-65 session made an appropriation for the portrait of Henry Clay to be placed in the Senate Chamber. According to newspaper accounts the committee appointed to see to the matter of the portrait invited a competition among artists. The paintings all had to be life size and completed by the 1st of May 1866. [Note there is a typographical error in the newspaper article using the date "1856".The actual date was May 1st, 1866.]

George Wilhelm (William) Frye (1819-1872) was born at Reslau on the border of Bohemia. Reared in Vienna, he received his art education at Prague in Bohemia. At the time of the commission he was living in Huntsville, Alabama.
Collection State Board of Control Collection
People Clay, Henry
Frye, William
Subjects Figure (representation)
Government officials
Portrait paintings
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS