40 x 31 in. (101.6 x 78.7 cm)
Framed: 55 x 46 x 6 1/4 in. (139.7 x 116.8 x 15.9 cm)
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
When “Uncle Joe” Cannon became Speaker of the House, his colleagues surprised him with a portrait in honor of his service as Appropriations Committee Chairman. They engaged a frequent congressional portraitist, Freeman Thorp, and, according to press reports, smuggled him into the Speaker’s rooms to sketch Cannon undetected. Thorp had plenty of experience working under trying conditions. In the 1870s, his studio was reportedly on the roof of the Capitol. Proximity to the seats of power paid off for the artist—there are nine works by his hand in the House and Senate collections.