The Assassination…in Color!

The advent of photography allowed the Civil War to be documented in an unprecedented way.  Instead of relying solely on written accounts and hastily drawn sketches of the battlefield, photography allowed the horrors of war to be transmitted in painful detail to the masses.  In the 150 years that have passed since that great conflict, the black and white and sepia tinted images of the war have become well known and almost commonplace.  However, thanks to new technology and painstaking work by devoted enthusiasts/artists, we are now able to see Civil War scenes and figures almost exactly as they appeared in real life.  Instead of being trapped forever in black and white, these historic images are being reborn in color.

The following images are colorized versions of assassination related people and events.  They are the detailed work of two different men.  One of them is named David Richardson.  David owns and operates his own website, Civil War in Color, where he sells his colorized and 3D photographs.  The other artist is named Mads Madsen.  He is a twenty something year-old Denmark man with a passion for colorization.  His online gallery, which I encourage you all to visit and get lost in for awhile, contains hundreds of images that he has brought to life with his shockingly realistic colorization.  Just today, Mads released a colorized version of John Wilkes Booth and it is so extraordinary that I knew I had to share it.

Both men have been slowly developing and improving their techniques in order to create the most realistic images possible.  The images below come from different periods of that development, with some not being as refined as others.  They nevertheless provide a vivid and unique view of assassination related figures and events.

Work by Mads Madsen:

John Wilkes Booth by Mads Madsen

John Wilkes Booth by Mads Madsen

George Atzerodt by Mads Madsen

George Atzerodt by Mads Madsen

Samuel Arnold by Mads Madsen

Samuel Arnold by Mads Madsen

Lewis Powell by Mads Madsen

Lewis Powell by Mads Madsen

Lewis Powell 1 Colorized by Mads Madsen

Lewis Powell by Mads Madsen

Lewis Powell by Mads Madsen

Lewis Powell by Mads Madsen

Lewis Powell by Mads Madsen

Lewis Powell by Mads Madsen

Lewis Powell Before and After by Mads Madsen

Lewis Powell Before and After by Mads Madsen

The "Lincoln Hanging" by Mads Madsen

The “Lincoln Hanging” by Mads Madsen

Work by David Richardson:

David Herold by David Richardson

David Herold by David Richardson

George Atzerodt by David Richardson

George Atzerodt by David Richardson

Michael O'Laughlen by David Richardson

Michael O’Laughlen by David Richardson

Edman Spangler Colorized by David Richardson

Edman Spangler by David Richardson

Lewis Powell by David Richardson

Lewis Powell by David Richardson

The Execution by David Richardson

The Execution by David Richardson

I hope both men continue their impressive work.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “The Assassination…in Color!

  1. RIchard Sloan

    I just noticed that Richardson gives Payne a blue shirt at his hanging. Me thinks it should have been black, unless he had a reason for having done that. The Booth pic is scarey. Thanx for sharing it with us. Dave — check your email box; I have been trying to communicate with you about something.

    • I just noticed these posted. I have several additional images relating to the assassination on my site and would be happy to share them here, just contact me.

      Richard –

      As Betty mentions below Powell/Payne is wearing an enlisted Navy uniform that he received when they took his clothes from him. She helped me to realize this a few years ago and the images have corrected to reflect that.

      David

  2. Victorian Hat

    Ahh… I never get sick of looking at these

  3. Great post! I actually have a colorized version of Edwin Booth that I purchased on eBay awhile back. I may get a colorized version John Wilkes to add to my Booth collection.

  4. John C. Fazio

    Dave:

    Fantasico! (Italian for fantastic). This is indeed a first. For me, anyway, if not for others. I’ll print them

    and keep them. Thanks for sharing.

    John

    • Glad you liked them, John. I always enjoy it when someone can do something to a photograph that makes me look at it in a new way.

  5. Great, Dave! I’m continually impressed with the work of these artists – Love the Booth one – looks like he’s ready to speak….

    Richard, Powell’s shirt was a blue/gray. It was a Navy issue undershirt….

    • Betty,

      Clearly Powell is a great muse to people like Mads and David. I always see more colorized versions of him than anyone else.

  6. Herb Swingle

    Outstanding work!

  7. Jenny

    That Booth one is hands down the best colored picture of him that I have seen. Powell is really well done as well. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Deby Fitz

    So what are the chances of getting Matthew McConnahey to play Johnny in some worthwhile accurate film? Matt has the chiseled look and could pull it off! He would, of course, need a good vocal coach to get the Harford County/Baltimore accent right, since Matt’s would be too Texan. No wonder John had so many young ladies…..color makes him look even better!

  9. Jack

    Amazing colorization . Thanks much for posting . Some how makes the event seem not so long ago .

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