Images of George Washington abound but the most faithful likeness remains a terra cotta bust created by Jean Antoine Houdon. The French sculptor visited Mount Vernon in October 1785 to carefully observe Washington’s movements and expressions, even making a plaster “life mask” of Washington’s face to accurately preserve every detail. Washington was then 53 years old. When completed, Houdon gave the bust to Washington and it has remained at Mount Vernon for over two centuries. Also available in an 6″ & 11″ high size on a pedestal base in white marble or bronze finish.
This portrait sculpture of George Washington is a reproduction of the original marble bust which was crafted by the great French neoclassical sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon.
Houdon lived from 1741 to 1828, and was one of the most celebrated sculptors of his day. He was commissioned to create sculptures of a number of American leaders, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson.
This sculpture of Washington, in the classical manner showing chest musculature, was the result of an invitation from Benjamin Franklin to Houdon to come from France to Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. In July 1785, Houdon sailed for Philadelphia, accompanied by his friend Franklin and three of his workmen. Advised of the master’s arrival in September of that year, Washington hastened to invite him to Mount Vernon. After two weeks’ work, Houdon took a life mask, other plaster impressions, minute measurements of Washington’s body and sketches back to Paris. His imposing and elegant statue was completed in 1792 and today still adorns the front of the Capitol in Richmond.
Available in the white marlbe or bronze finish. Select below.