Abraham Lincoln in Color

Color Photograph of Abraham Lincoln in a suit taken on February 1865. The photo has been colroized.
Colorized photo of Abraham Lincoln, February 1865.
Credit: HistoryColored // CC BY-SA 4.0

Have the unique opportunity to see the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, in color thanks to the work of an expert colorizer manually adding color to an old photo of him. By seeing Lincoln in Color, it brings history to life, allowing a photo that is over 150 years old to look as if it was taken yesterday.

This photo of Lincoln was taken on February 5th, 1865 by Alexander Gardner at his photo studio in Washington, D.C., 2 months before his assassination. He looks like he has aged significantly, during his 4 years as President. The strain of the American Civil War looks to have taken a toll on Lincoln compared to previous images of him. This image was originally taken for the artist Matthew Wilson, who was commissioned to paint a portrait of Abraham Lincoln and since Lincoln could spare no time to post for the painting, they needed recent photo references to do this.

Abraham Lincoln in 1865
Original Black and White Photograph of Abraham Lincoln taken by Alexander Gardner, February 5th, 1865.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Colorization is the art of adding color to an old photo, often of a key historical figure or event. This specific image was colorized manually but there is also automatic colorization by AI. Manual colorization tends to produce a more detailed photo with accurate colors as the artist can use research to find the correct colors whereas Artificial Intelligence is not doing this but is often judging the most likely color by the shade of grey in the image.

If you enjoyed seeing Abraham Lincoln in Color, you may enjoy seeing more Colorized Photos. You can also learn to colorize by checking out this article Colorization Tutorial!


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