Marquis de Lafayette  17571834

Jean-Antoine Houdon (17411828)
Marble, 1790

Private collection

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, served on George Washington’s staff during the American Revolution. For his role in the victory at Yorktown in 1781, the Virginia legislature commissioned his portrait from French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon.

The marble bust that depicts Lafayette in his American army uniform was based on a life mask and completed in 1789. It is now on view at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.

From the same life mask, Houdon created a second portrait in 1790 of Lafayette in the uniform of the French National Guard, which he founded. This bust is one of two known examples.