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This charming full-length portrait of the Marquis de Lafayette in military uniform, with an aide and horse depicts the French Major General in front of a large military encampment. Flagged tents appear along the left edge of the picture and continue toward the center of the landscape that forms the background. Lafayette bears a sword in his (proper) right hand and a sheath at his side; he looks right, while gesturing (proper) left. His similarly uniformed servant holds the reins of a broad-faced white horse just below and behind the Marquis to the (proper) right. Two dark forms emerge at slightly different angles from the Marquis' feet, perhaps meant to represent shadows. Lafayette’s powdered hair “en queue” is tied back with a black ribbon, and he wears a white stock and ruffle, waistcoat and breeches, black boots, and a dark blue coat with a red collar, cuffs, and trim, gold epaulets and buttons. Several medals adorn his coat at (proper) left, and a watch fob appears at waist level at (proper) right.

Gilded and painted wood frame.


c. 1780-1790



Oil on canvas


Overall (H x W, framed): 34 1/4 in. x 25 5/8 in. x 3 1/8 in. (87 cm x 65.09 cm x 7.94 cm)
Overall (H x W, unframed): 28 1/2 in. x 19 in. (72.39 cm x 48.26 cm)
Other (Sight): 26 1/2 in. x 18 1/16 in. (67.31 cm x 45.88 cm)

65.1 cm87 cm7.9 cm

* Object size compared to a tennis ball

Credit Line

Bequest of Edmonia Mason McClurg in memory of her first husband Lt. Commander Theodorus Bailey Myers Mason, 1910

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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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