This likeness of Georges Washington Motier de Lafayette was taken from life by English artist James Sharples in Philadelphia in May 1796, when it was paid for by George Washington. It depicts the son of the Marquis de Lafayette, who was named in tribute to General Washington. The young Lafayette, disguised as a peasant, escaped France during the Reign of Terror. He came to live with the Washingtons in Philadelphia in early spring of 1796, remaining in their household until October 1797. Shortly after his departure from Mount Vernon, young Lafayette wrote to Washington: “in your house I have been as happy as I could be separated from my family, and the time which I passed with you will never be forgot.” This portrait hung in the Front Parlor of Mount Vernon with Sharples’ portraits of George and Martha Washington, Nelly Custis and George Washington Parke Custis. More

Date

1796


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Pastel on laid paper


Dimensions

Overall: 9 13/16 in. x 7 15/16 in. (24.92 cm x 20.16 cm)


Credit

Gift of Mrs. A. Smith Bowman, Jr. and Mr. Robert E. Lee IV, 1985


Object Number

W-2019/A-B


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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