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A Bust of George Washington by Jean-Antoine Houdon

Published on , by Carole Blumenfeld
Auction on 21 June 2024 - 13:30 (CEST) - Salle 1-7 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009

The voyage from Le Havre to Philadelphia took forty-eight days, while Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) spent only a few days with this important historic figure in Mount Vernon, Virginia... he became the most important sculptor in the history of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

  A Bust of George Washington by Jean-Antoine Houdon
 
In Jean-Antoine Houdon's obituary, his son-in-law Raoul-Rochette emphasized one of the most glorious episodes in his father-in-law's career: “ The reputation he enjoyed in Europe, barely 36 years old, spread to the new world. [...] It seems that his trip to the United States had left a lasting impression on his discerning mind. The sight of a free, wise and happy people, and the pleasure of being near Washington, the greatest of men in the eyes of the philosopher, had left him with memories that he often enjoyed recalling in his later years, when so many other recollections had faded from his memory.” In November 1784, the two most famous Americans present in Paris, future president Thomas Jefferson and scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin, were commissioned by the Virginia legislature…
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