Houdon’s 1785 sculpted statue of Washington combines ancient and modern styles to depict Washington’s virtues as both a soldier and a citizen. Washington is shown in his Continental Army uniform, a reminder of his military service. The surrounding objects portray him as a modern-day Cincinnatus, an ancient Roman farmer and general who, after leading the Roman army to victory, relinquished his power and retired to his farm to live a peaceful life. Contrasting his military uniform, Washington holds a walking cane in his right hand, a sign of his life as a civilian while to his left and behind him is a farmer’s plowshare. Washington’s left hand rests on fasces, a bundle of rods representing an ancient symbol of authority. There are thirteen rods in the bundle, alluding to the original thirteen colonies.
Jean-Antoine Houdon’s original sculpture is on display in the rotunda of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond and a bronze replica of the original sculpture greets guests as they enter the Donald W. Reynolds Education Center at Mount Vernon.
This resin version of the classic sculpture is 7” tall, approximately 3 ½” wide at the widest point, and 3” deep at the deepest point. The base is approximately 3 ¼” x 2 ½”.