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Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain)

Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain)
Artist
John White Alexander, 7 Oct 1856 - 31 May 1915
Sitter
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 30 Nov 1835 - 21 Apr 1910
Date
1912 or 1913
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 192.4 x 92.1 x 3.8cm (75 3/4 x 36 1/4 x 1 1/2")
Frame: 210.2 x 109.2 x 7.6cm (82 3/4 x 43 x 3")
Topic
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Cigar
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache
Costume\Dress Accessory\Tie\Bowtie
Samuel Langhorne Clemens: Male
Samuel Langhorne Clemens: Communications\Journalist\Reporter\Newspaper
Samuel Langhorne Clemens: Literature\Writer\Humorist
Samuel Langhorne Clemens: Literature\Writer\Novelist
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
CC0
Object number
NPG.81.116
Exhibition Label
Using the pen name Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens had become one of this country's favorite satiric writers by the early 1870s, routinely making light of everyday human foibles. But it was the publication of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) that assured him a lasting place in American letters. Inspired in part by his own boyhood, these two tales set along the Mississippi River did more than capture the rhythms of youth in antebellum America. In both novels, Clemens examined with sardonic wit various tensions that underlay contemporary society, including, most importantly, the question of race. In later years, his success in this country and abroad was tempered by financial and personal setbacks and by a contempt for American and British imperialism.
Provenance
(Barbara Guggenheim Associates, New York); purchased 1981 NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery