Henry Clay
1777 - 1852
This portrait of Henry Clay by Henry F. Darby hung in Mathew Brady's New York studio in 1860 along with paintings of Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun. Brady sold all three to the United States government in 1881 for $4,000, and today they can be found hanging outside the Senate chamber. Throughout the 1850s Darby frequently collaborated with Brady to create large, majestic paintings based on photographs and daguerreotypes, for which Brady received most of the credit. Contemporary journals advertise elaborate photographs enlarged on canvas and enhanced with color, and it appears that the public accepted such work as a new form of portraiture. But three decades later, when Brady made his sale, he suggested that Darby worked from original sittings, using a long-lost method, saying only, "The material no longer exists to produce these portraits with such life-like fidelity and accuracy as to facts."

See Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun

Henry F. Darby (1829 - 1897)
Oil on canvas, circa 1858
129 x 102.2 cm (50 x 3/4 x 40 1/4 in.);
158.1 x 134 x 11.7 cm (62 1/4 x 52 3/4 x 4 5/8 in.) framed
United States Senate Collection, Washington, D.C.