"The Council of War" Cast Plaster Sculpture by John Rogers, 1868

Presented is a rare plaster-cast sculpture entitled Council of War by artist John Rogers. Council of War features Abraham Lincoln in the center, with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to his left wiping his glasses, and General U.S. Grant to his right pointing to the map in Lincoln's hands. These figures were placed together in the composition to signify the most powerful men by the end of the Civil War.

John Rogers produced a small amount of these plaster casts in 1868 at the suggestion of Stanton, who described the scene as "one of the most interesting and appropriate occasions" for a sculpture.

Rogers made adjustments to the composition, producing three different versions in 1868. Rogers was a commercial artist with the aim to sell his work to a very wide audience. Thus, edits were made in order to appeal to more people. Diverging from the common practices of his predecessors, Rogers utilized plaster instead of bronze as a way to provide more affordable options to middle-class Americans during the 19th century. This sculpture grouping was one of his most popular and sought-after. 


This sculpture is in very good condition, considering its age and fragile nature. The plaster piece is finished in a matte light grey paint and is in good condition. The piece is signed and dated by Rogers at the base. The title is etched on the front portion of the sculpture. Artist signature, title, and date are all very legible. Overall, plaster is well kept and free of significant markings. Small dents and very minor chips to paint near Grant's coat, Stanton's hands, and base but structurally the sculpture remains very sound.

Dimensions: 24" H x 13" W x 11.5" D.

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