In 1996 Grooms began to turn his creative efforts towards his interest in the Civil War. His efforts became an extensive body of work. The Blue and The Gray includes seven paintings from that year. For Magenta Lincoln, he found inspiration in an image of a beardless Lincoln, taken on the eve of his first presidential campaign in 1860. Being deeply involved in debates over the extension of slavery since his failed Senate run in 1858, Lincoln had a firm grasp of the heated opposition on both sides of this question. The artist’s bold, linear style convey Lincoln’s erect posture and resolute expression.