This was commissioned by a businessman named Andrew Baldwin, who then gave this piece to the retiring President. My mother made a trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to meet with Eisenhower. She photographed him and made sketches as they chatted together. He told her all about the battle of Normandy, and showed her many photographs illustrating the invasion–my mother was so overwhelmed that she remembered rather little of their conversation!
Because of the nature of egg tempera, many interwoven brushstrokes and value changes give the appearance of paint blending, although it doesn’t really blend. My mother said that the grey suit in this piece was just grueling to paint, requiring hours of patient small strokes. A blue sky, such as this, would typically take a whole day to complete as well.
This piece is now in the Eisenhower library in Abilene, Kansas.