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Marquis de Lafayette Prints Collection
Overview of Collections
The Marquis de Lafayette Prints Collection includes more than 650 digitized images drawn from the collections at Skillman Library and the Lafayette College Art Collection. Most of the images are contemporaneous with Lafayette’s life (1757-1834) and depict his involvement in the American and French Revolutions, French politics, and his Farewell Tour of America, 1824-25. Many of the images are portraits of Lafayette, based on paintings or other engravings of him. The prints are primarily lithographs, although the collection also includes stipple and line engravings, etchings, mezzotints, and aquatints. The prints are organized into series, reflecting as much as possible a chronological order based on Lafayette’s age in the portrait, rather than the date the likeness was printed. Many of the series are set up under the name of the artist on whose original painting the print was or appears to have been based. The Prints Collection is one of several collections at Lafayette College documenting the life and career of the man for whom it is named. Other materials include rare books, manuscripts, memorabilia, and paintings and sculpture.
Series I includes portrait engravings of Lafayette which date prior to 1789. These prints are based on portraits or engravings by artists Michel Honoré Bounieu (1740-1814), Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), Jean Baptiste Le Paon (1736-1785), and L. Barre. Characteristics of this youthful rendering of Lafayette include a full, oval face, plain hair-dressing, and a simple military uniform usually without any military decoration.
The prints of Series II are based on the Edme Quenedey (1756-1830) portrait of Lafayette executed in September of 1789. Common characteristics of these prints include a full or three-quarter bust view, military uniform with a lace jabot, bare head, and a wig with a queue.
Portraits of Series III are based upon a Charles François Gabriel Levachez (1730-1850) painting executed during the late 18th to early 19th-century. It is possible that Levachez used the Quenedey profile for his model, as the prints filed in this series exhibit some of the same common characteristics as the Quenedey type with several unique identifying details or differences. These include a plain white neck-band in place of the lace jabot, a profile always to the left, a posture more emphatically erect, and a face slightly more mature.
Series IV includes portraits based on the Philibert-Louis Debucourt (1755-1832) painting of February, 1790. In many ways this type is also similar to the Quenedey type. A marked difference which makes the Debucourt prints unique is the turned-up nose in profile. Also, these prints usually show the bust in a three-quarter turn to the right or left with the head in full profile.
The prints of Series V are based upon a pastel portrait executed by Jean-Baptiste Weyler (1747-1791) in October of 1790. This type shows Lafayette in the uniform of the National Guard, bust and head to the right, eyes looking directly at the viewer. He is bare-headed and only the ends of the ribbon to his queue show. He wears a white neck-cloth and lace jabot with his coat open and the upper portion of the waistcoat unbuttoned. Three medals are worn on the left lapel. Throughout this series, prints classed here exhibit a great deal of variation. Most portraits are to the left, and the uniform can be quite different. Several prints display Lafayette in a coat with a high double collar, broad lapels, a black neck-cloth, and without medals. This series is one of the largest of the portrait categories, containing more than 50 individual prints.
Prints in Series VI are derived from a portrait of Lafayette engraved ca. 1790 by the German artist Christian Gottfried Jacobi (1764-1845). None of the prints in this series actually carry any printed reference to Jacobi. These Jacobi-type prints are mainly of German origin and often carry the name of another German artist, Johann Friedrich Bolt (1769-1836). Often these prints are dated 1792 and display the following characteristics: Lafayette is shown in bust to the left, with his head in profile to the left, in a uniform and queue, and wearing a hat carrying a plume and the cockade of the Paris National Guard.
Series VII contains a variety of portraits created prior to 1800. Many of these prints contain characteristics common to several of the previous series, but cannot be separated into such specific categories. For the most part, these portraits display the younger Lafayette in the uniform of the Paris National Guard.
Prints of Series VIII are based upon an 1818 Clary (dates unknown) portrait of Lafayette. This type shows Lafayette at the time of his return to French politics as leader of the liberal opposition to the reactionary Bourbon regime of Louis XVIII. Such portraits reflect his years of private life in the French countryside after time spent in prison and exile. His is portrayed both in civilian clothes and uniform with a rather full face, white collar, neck-band tied in a loose bow, and usually a jabot.
Series IX contains prints of Lafayette based on the 1822 portrait painted by Ary Scheffer (1795-1858). The original painting now hangs in the U.S. House of Representatives chamber in Washington, D.C. Just as the Quenedey profile of Series II and the Weyler portrait of Series V were the most popular representations of Lafayette as a young man, the Scheffer full-length figure became the world's conception of Lafayette in his later years. Consequently, this series is also one of the largest of the collection, containing approximately 60 portraits of Lafayette. The characteristics of the Scheffer-type print are distinctive and range as follows: in full-length or bust, to the left, in civilian clothes and an open heavy overcoat, right hand holding a hat and resting on a walking stick, left hand on his hip or partially thrust into his pocket, and white neck-cloth in a bow or knotted. Several portraits located toward the end of the series portray Lafayette without the overcoat.
There is no known record of a Lafayette portrait rendered by an artist named Gerard, although the majority of the prints in Series X carry the notation "Gerard pinxt," indicating that the portrait from which the print was designed was painted by Gerard. Prints of this series are dated ca. 1830, and several are of German or Dutch origin. They display Lafayette in civilian dress with an overcoat that is usually buttoned and a white collar and neck-band with a bow or sometimes a ruffle or jabot.
The French historical painter, Antoine Maurin (1793-1860), is responsible for the original images from which the prints in Series XI were made. These show Lafayette in both uniform and in civilian dress, in bust or full-length portrait. The characteristic presentation in the civilian dress portraits includes a partially unbuttoned coat, a white collar with loose bow or knot, and a ribbon decoration on the left lapel. Lafayette’s face wears a tired expression with a suggestion of a smile. The prints showing Lafayette in military uniform show a double-breasted coat with epaulets, a high collar, and white knotted neck-cloth tied in a bow.
Prints of Series XII are examples of prints after the Scheffer type of Series IX and the Gerard type of Series X. The major artist of the group is Simon Julien (1735-1800), although several prints are related to the works of artist Amédée Félix Barthélémy Geille (1802-1843) and Albert Massard. A common characteristic of all these prints is the military uniform with a plain black neck-band. Some characteristics are specific to each artist, such as in the case of the Julien type, where the top and fourth button of the coat are undone. In the Geille type, the top four buttons are undone on the coat and the head is tilted back. The Massard prints exhibit a different style coat, unbuttoned, with an embroidered collar, and the head is more similar to the Scheffer type.
Series XIII contains portraits displaying various types of heads, after the Scheffer and Gerard types of Series IX and X. Throughout these prints, Lafayette is typically portrayed in military uniform with a white neck-band and collar but without a bow.
The portraits of Series XIV are from engravers Luigi Bridi and Forestier and show little influence of Scheffer or Gerard. In all of these prints, Lafayette is shown in military uniform with a high collar.
Prints of Series XV are mainly after Scheffer. Characteristics include the military uniform with the coat collar in gold embroidery open at top, a jabot, and an overcoat with a fur collar.
Portraits of Series XVI include those based on the Achille-Louis Martinet (1806-1877) painting of 1830 as well as other miscellaneous full and half-length portraits of the later period. Most of these portraits display Lafayette in uniform.
Prints in Series XVII are portraits which cannot be classed with those of Series VIII to XVI. They are grouped as miscellaneous portraits from 1800-1834 and are unique in either face or presentation.
Series XVIII is the last of the portrait groupings. These prints vary greatly in presentation and are associated together mainly because they show Lafayette mounted on a horse.
Caricatures of Lafayette are found in Series XIX and predominantly take the form of French political cartoons, 1789-1832. Highlights of this series include two caricatures by Honoré Daumier (1808-1879): "Le Cauchemar", published under Daumier's pseudonym, Rogelin, and “Enfoncé Lafayette”. In Le Cauchemar or “The Nightmare,” Lafayette is shown weighted down by a huge pear symbolizing King Louis-Philippe, whom Lafayette helped put on the French throne in 1830. In "Enfoncé Lafayette" King Louis-Philippe appears as a hypocritical mourner at Lafayette's funeral in 1834, saying, "Take that, Lafayette; I bet you're beaten now." It has been described as one of Daumier's greatest works as well as one of the masterpieces of the art of lithography.
Symbolic compositions involving Lafayette or relating to events in his life are found in the prints of Series XX. Compositions portrayed here date from Lafayette's involvement in the French Revolution to his political involvements of 1830.
Portraits of members of Lafayette's family are arranged alphabetically in Series XXI. Prints include those of two of his children, George Washington and Virginie, as well as his wife, Adrienne de Noailles de Lafayette. Several images depict Lafayette’s great aunt by marriage, the French writer, Marie Madeleine Pioche de La Vergne, Madame de La Fayette (1634-1693).
Series XXII provides a detailed visual history of the events in Lafayette's political career. The majority of the prints in Series XXII deal with events relating to the French Revolution and date from 1789 to 1792, but images also depict his participation in the American Revolution (1777-1781), his imprisonment at Olmütz (1790s), his Farewell Tour of America (1824-25), his role in French politics (1830), and his death (1834). While most of the prints in Series XXII depict specific events in Lafayette's life, several maps relating to these events are included here as well. Examples include a map of Rhode Island showing the positions of the American and British armies at the siege of Newport on August 29, 1778; diagrams of the seating arrangements at the French Chambres des Deputes for the sessions of 1818-1819, 1821-1822, and 1831; and a map showing Lafayette's itinerary during his 1824-25 tour of America.
The homes of Lafayette in France, Chavaniac and LaGrange, are depicted in the prints of Series XXIII. Chateau Chavaniac, the birthplace of Lafayette in 1757, still stands in the province of Auvergne in south central France. Lafayette's home from 1800 until his death in 1834 was LaGrange, an estate located approximately 50 kilometers southeast of Paris, between the small towns of Courpaley and Rozay-en-Brie. Several of the views of LaGrange in this collection are prints based on paintings by American artist Alvan Fisher (1792-1863). These views were later used as the designs for the transfer-prints on Staffordshire dinnerware created by the English ceramic company of Enoch Wood & Sons. Examples of these Fisher scenes on ceramics are located in the Marquis de Lafayette Memorabilia Collection. Another American artist, Clara Greenleaf Perry (1871-1960), is responsible for a grouping of lithographic images of Lafayette’s homes.
The Marquis de Lafayette Prints Collection makes use of the following metadata fields:
Caption titles (printed or written) are transcribed as they appear on the print. Titles in square brackets are assigned by the cataloger.
- Caption title: The First Meeting of Washington and Lafayette
- Without printed/written caption: [Washington and Lafayette]
Contains supplemental information (printed or written) that appears on the print and is not used in the creator/contributor/publisher/or notes fields.
- Philadelphia, August 3rd, 1777
- From the collection of the Sons of Liberty in upstate New York. 1904
- Lafayette [facsimile signature]
Artists, engravers, lithographers, etchers, photographers, calligraphers associated with the print. Relator terms assigned to names.
- Chappell, Alonzo -- artist
- D.W. Kellog & Co. -- lithographer
- Fiessinger, Franz Gabriel, 1752-1807 -- engraver
Includes personal names, geographic names, and topical subjects that appear in the title, description note, and notes fields.
- Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de, 1757-1834 -- Portraits
- La Fayette family
- Brandywine, Battle of, Pa., 1777
- Mount Vernon (Va.: Estate)
Name of publisher and/or printer as it appears on the print.
- Currier & Ives -- publisher
- Nagel, Louis -- printer
Date as it appears on the print. If it is a copyright date, the letter c precedes the date. If the print does not have a date, the field is left blank.
The process used for making the print.
The specific material designation (print) and the physical dimensions of the item (height and width in centimeters). Multiple size statements appear in the field.
- 1 print: image 7 x 7 cm., on sheet 9.5 x 9.8 cm., on mount 21 x 34 cm.
Contains information related to Lafayette including historical scenes, political and social events, battles, homes, or anything not stated on the print. This field is also used to include descriptive information about the print.
- The birthplace of Lafayette.
- Jean Sylvain Bailly was the first mayor of Paris under the new system of the Commune, July 15, 1789 to November 16, 1791. He was guillotined in 1793.
- Print removed from book.
- Hand-colored engraving.
Field used if print is fragile or damaged.
- Print is brittle.
Donor’s name and date if known.
- Stuart Wells Jackson
- Essex County Country Club, June 22, 1942
The prints from Special Collections are grouped into seventeen series. The Lafayette College Art Collection prints do not include a series statement.
- Quenedey (Special Collections)
- Scenes from the Life: 1776-1834 (Special Collections)
The Special Collections item number contains Roman numerals which refer to the series followed by a number indicating the order within the series. The Lafayette Art Collection prints have accession numbers as their unique identifier.
- II.2.a (Special Collections)
- 2010.01 (Art Collection)
Usage rights statement.
- This image is posted publicly for non-profit educational use, excluding print publication. For additional information, please see http://digital.lafayette.edu/copyright for our Reproduction, Use, and Copyright Guidelines.
Entitiy responsible for publishing the digitized item.
- Special Collections & College Archives, Skillman Library, Lafayette College
Physical collection from which the item was scanned.
- Lafayette College Art Collection
- Special Collections & College Archives, Skillman Library, Lafayette College
Name of the digital collection.
- Marquis de Lafayette Prints Collection
Link to downloadable reference image.
Link to image for close study.
Scope and Content Note
The Marquis de Lafayette Prints Collection, one of the most extensive of its kind, contains close to one thousand 18th and 19th-century images (some are held in multiple copies). It includes portraits, caricatures, symbolic compositions, views of Lafayette's homes in France, scenes from his life, and images of his family and associates from the American and French Revolutions. The prints are mainly lithographs, which became the common method for printed portraits after the invention of lithography in 1798, but the collection also includes stipple and line engravings, etchings, mezzotints, and aquatints. Some of the highlights of this collection are the engravings which have been hand-colored over the printed images with water-color washes.
For the most part, the printed portraits represented in this collection are copies of paintings or other engravings, although in some instances they are designed solely from the artist's imagination. This helps explain the great variety in the hundreds of prints in this collection. The work of many noteworthy 18th and 19th-century engravers and artists is represented in the collection and their influence on one another is apparent throughout their designs.
When Lafayette's participation in the American Revolution won him world-wide renown and admiration, engravers throughout Europe became extremely interested in portraying his likeness. The collection contains the work of engravers and artists from several countries, including France, England, America, Italy, and Germany. The bulk of the Lafayette portraiture in prints corresponds to the high points in his popularity during his lifetime. Major groups of prints date from his involvement in the American and French Revolutions up to 1792 and after 1817 when he returned to the political scene in France.
The earlier portrait prints depict a youthful Lafayette in the splendor of his military costume in a classic and aristocratic 18th-century world. The later portraiture in prints reveals an elderly Lafayette, burdened with years of political involvement and responsibility as well as many layers of heavy woolen clothing. Such mature portraits of Lafayette reflect a more bourgeois, 19th-century world.
Series numbers, titles, and box numbers appear on the list below. Individual series descriptions are available on the Overview tab for the digital collection. Prints from Series I - XVII are arranged as much as possible in chronological order, reflecting the age of Lafayette in the portrait more than the actual date the likeness was printed. The prints are grouped into series according to the artist on whose original painting the print was or appears to have been based. In many cases, the prints dating prior to 1800 defy accurate classifications by artist, and in these cases the print is filed with the type to which it most closely relates or in miscellaneous Series VII. With few exceptions, all of the prints in the later series appear to be based on variations of the noted Ary Scheffer portrait of 1822.
|I.||Portraits: Before 1789||1|
|IV.||Portraits: Debucourt, etc.||3-4|
|VI.||Portraits: Jacobi (Bolt)||5-6|
|VII.||Portraits: Miscellaneous before 1800||6|
|VIII.||Portraits: Clary, etc.||6-7|
|XII.||Portraits: Julien, etc.||9-10|
|XIII.||Portraits: Miscellaneous—uniform, white neck-band and collar, without bow||10-11|
|XIV.||Portraits: Bridi, etc.||11|
|XV.||Portraits: Miscellaneous—uniform, fur collar, etc.||11|
|XVI.||Portraits: Martinet, etc.||11-12|
|XVII.||Portraits: Miscellaneous: 1800-1834||12|
|XXI.||Members of Family||13|
|XXII.||Scenes from the Life: 1776-1834||14-15|
|XXIII.||Homes—Chavaniac and LaGrange||15|
|XXIV.||Associates—French and American Revolutions||15-16|
Series XXIV (Associates) has not been digitized. There is an index available at the repository. The images in this series offer an extensive visual record of Lafayette's associates in both the American and French Revolutions. Individual portraits of these military and political figures are organized alphabetically. Approximately 70 different individuals are portrayed and most of those depicted are participants in the French Revolution.
The Process Print Collection
The Marquis de Lafayette process print collection (Box 20-24, extra-oversize folder #4) is stored at the end of the 18th and 19th-century print collection and follows a similar series arrangement.
Scenes from the Life
Members of Family
Homes—Chavaniac and LaGrange
Statues and Sculpture
Extra-oversize folder #4
The materials in this collection include prints of lesser quality than those in the 18th and 19th-century collection, images clipped from publications, photographs, glass plate negatives, postcards, and posters. All of these images are related to Lafayette in some way. Many are photographic reproductions of art works depicting Lafayette, such as paintings, prints, and sculpture. Series I - V deal mainly with such art works and are arranged alphabetically by artist. Series VI contains images of Lafayette-related memorabilia pieces, similar to those in the Memorabilia Collection, but mainly in the collections of owners other than Lafayette College. In many cases, the postcards of Series VII represent locations Lafayette visited during his lifetime. Finally, the posters of Series IX advertise Lafayette-related commemorative events and locations in France. The process print collection also includes correspondence dating 1932-1942 (Series VIII - Box 23) which deals with Lafayette College's acquisition of many of the photographic reproductions of Lafayette art works. These records discuss many of the original art works and provide insight into the value of the collection as a visual record of Lafayette portraiture throughout the world.
Other Lafayette Holdings at Lafayette College
Lafayette College is home to some of the most distinguished collections relating to the Marquis de Lafayette in America. In addition to the prints, the collections include: rare books, manuscripts, memorabilia, and paintings and sculpture. The rare book holdings total approximately 2,000 items, including biographical sources, children’s literature, 18th century imprints concerning Lafayette in the French Revolution, works documenting Lafayette’s 1824-25 Farewell Tour of America, and works on Franco-American friendship, particularly the assistance rendered by France to America during the American Revolution and America to France in World War I.
The manuscript collection contains more than 350 letters and documents, most of which are written in Lafayette's hand and/or hold his signature. These manuscript pieces date from his participation in the American Revolution in 1777 to his death in 1834. The centerpiece of this collection is the approximately 150 original letters that Lafayette wrote to George Washington. Other manuscripts relate to the French Revolution and Lafayette's 1824-25 Farewell Tour of America.
The memorabilia collection includes more than eight hundred pieces relating to Lafayette's life, many of which are commemorative objects dating from his 1824-25 tour. This extensive collection includes ceramics, glassware, metal pieces, textiles, personal accessories, commemorative medals and ribbons, weapons, broadsides and printed ephemera, sheet music, stamps, and newspapers.
Besides these collections of Lafayette materials, the Lafayette Library also houses the records of the American Friends of Lafayette, a society founded in 1932 which is dedicated to the memory and study of the Marquis de Lafayette. The Lafayette College Art Collection holds both portraits and sculpture of Lafayette by a number of distinguished artists, including Thomas Sully and Daniel Chester French.
About the Project
- Project Coordinator: Diane Windham Shaw, Director of Special Collections and College Archivist
- Digital Developer: Eric Luhrs, Head of Digital Scholarship Services
- Metadata Coordinator: Pamela Murray, Cataloger and Project Archivist
- Susan Falciani, Intern and Volunteer (metadata)
- Kristin Hayes, Class of 2008 (metadata, digitization)
- Paul Miller, Digital Production Manager (digitization)
- Theodore Norton, Head Librarian 1931-1954 (cataloger)
- Michiko Okaya, Curator of the Lafayette College Art Collection (loan of Art Collection images for scanning)
- Allison Pennella, Class of 2010 (digitization, metadata)
- Emanuel Santa-Donato, Class of 2010 (digitization)
- Elaine McCluskey Stomber, Associate College Archivist (collection processor, created finding aid)
- Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
- Library of Congress Name Authority Files (NAF)
- Benezit Dictionary of Artists
- Oxford Art Online
- Grove Art Online
- The Oxford Companion to Western Art Online
- Encyclopedia of Aesthetics Online
- The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Online
- Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) Online (Getty)
- Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) Online (Getty)
- With a French Accent: American Lithography to 1860. American Antiquarian Society. 2012
If you have information about an image in this collection, either to identify it more fully or to suggest a revision to an entry, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, email address, and the link provided in the identifier.download field to identify the image(s) to which you refer.
Citation Guidelines (for use with any citation format)
Collection: Marquis de Lafayette Prints Collection
Repository: Special Collections & College Archives, Skillman Library, Lafayette College
URL: Provide the item's "reference url" found by clicking link in gray bar at top left on item record pages
Item: Provide the number given in the "Identifier.ItemNumber" field
Prints were scanned as high resolution TIFs (at least 4000 pixels across the long edge), using SilverFast AI Studio 6.5 software and Epson 4990 and 10000XL scanners, based on size of original item. No descreening or post-scan sharpening processes were used. Master images were converted to JPEG2000 for online display, and to JPEG for download. The digital images are hosted on Lafayette College's local CONTENTdm server. The CONTENTdm software is what allows images to be searched, browsed, zoomed, panned, cropped, compared, and added to temporary collections.
Metadata was created in the Dublin Core standard using MetaDB, a web-based metadata creation tool developed at Lafayette College. MetaDB allows digitization projects to be decentralized so that many people can work concurrently on individual parts of a project, then assembled into whole collections, and exported directly to an asset management system.