Original art work – particularly drawings and paintings of Lizzie Borden herself – run the gamut of grotesque to incredibly unique and exceptional in artistic achievement. I’ve come across so many (not on eBay) but done by people interested in the case and have traded or bought many of these. On a few occasions I’ve actually just asked friends who have talent to draw me scenes which I describe. I’ve kept all of these in a scrapbook over the years. Last month a fellow local quad rider and geocacher made one for me because I most always leave a little “Lizzie” treasure on our runs. And now, a non-local friend of mine, who happens to be an artist and knows my interest did this one below, which I’m buying.
This sketch was taken from the classic Lizzie photograph when she was about 30 years old. I think this photo of Lizzie was taken when she went on her Grand Tour in 1890. Compare the two:
I think this drawing looks more like Lizzie probably looked at age 38 – 5 years after the 1893 Trial, after the 1897 broohaha over the Tilden Thurber shoplifting incident and the “engagement” nonsense splashed in the papers re her supposed engagement with Orrin Gardner. I think by then, 5 years later, she came to realize she was a social pariah in her own home town – but still a Borden, a pedigree that always made her feel entitled. And so she was already depressed and unhappy at 38. She would, however, always remain dignified and refined, and conduct herself in public with the deportment expected of the era. But I think her inner angst and demons might very well have reflected upon her visage. Perhaps she softened upon meeting Nance.
But if I had bumped into Lizzie in 1898, this is pretty much how I would expect her to look – more aged, more troubled, more pissed off, but ever so the proper lady.