Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

 

by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

Plaster, painted to resemble terra cotta; cast about 1788; 27 3/4 x 19 1/8 x 12 in. (70.485 x 48.5775 x 30.48 cm).

by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

 

by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

Cast when Marquis de Lafayette was 28.

by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

Based on the life mask cast by Houdon in 1785.

by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

Marble. State Artwork Collection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA.

by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

Terra cotta patinated plaster. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Monticello, Charlottesville, VA.

by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

Plaster. The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY.

by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

Based on the life mask cast by Houdon when he visited Mount Vernon in 1785.

by Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741—1828)

Based on the life mask cast by Houdon when he visited Mount Vernon in 1785.

Lafayette’s years in America had given him the most glorious career it was possible for a youth of his disposition to imagine. He had fought for a noble cause, and won the love of a nation. George Washington sent him admiring and heart-sore letters after the marquis returned to France; the state of Virginia presented a bust of him to the city of Paris; the island of Nantucket sent him a 500-pound cheese. Lafayette cherished the love he had earned overseas, and never let the French forget it. When his first two children were born, he named the boy George Washington and the girl Virginia. At his Paris household, his family spoke English, and his messenger was dressed as an American Indian.

Richard Brookhiser
Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution (2003)