The Lincoln Memorial is a tribute to Abraham Lincoln and the nation he fought to preserve during the Civil War (1861-1865).
It is one of the most beautiful and dramatic monuments in the city, but it is difficult to construct
a strong composition with it as the focal point because of where it stands. In this piece, Chase approached the
composition "from the water" rather than from the land as in A Grateful Nation
The exquisite sunset and the warm glow of the memorial itself reflect in the dark water creating a sort of mirror
image effect. And, in fact, the glow of the lighted memorial can be likened to the warm feelings so many Americans
have for Lincoln himself.
The architecture of the Lincoln Memorial is based after a Greek Temple. It contains 36 Doric columns, one for each state at the time of Abraham Lincoln's death. A sculpture by Daniel Chester French of a seated Lincoln is in the center of the memorial chamber. The Gettysburg Address is inscribed on the south wall of the monument.
Above the landmark is a mural painted by Jules Guerin depicting the angel of truth freeing a slave. Guerin also painted the unity of North and South mural on the north wall. Etched into the north wall below the mural is Lincoln's second inaugural speech.