Jean Antoine Houdon
Wars and Conflicts:
H x W x D: 25 in. / 17 in. / 13 in.
Gift of the Washington Chapter of the National Sojourners, in honor of George Washington’s Bicentennial Commission
From ca. 1932: The Army and Navy Club, gift of The Washington Chapter of the National Sojourners, in honor of George Washington’s Bicentennial Commission
This bust of George Washington is a limited edition copy of the original, replicated in 1932 to commemorate George Washington’s Bicentennial Commission. The original bust, located in George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, was created from life by the French neoclassical sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon in 1785. On the rear of the bust’s base an inscription reads: “1732-1932 George Washington Bicentennial Commission.”
The original bust only featured the unadorned head and neck of Washington—the toga-like drape around his shoulders was added later.
Houdon is better remembered for a different, full-body statue of Washington from the late 18th century, located in the rotunda of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia. Based on a life mask and other real-life measurements of Washington taken by the artist, the marble statue is considered one of the most accurate depictions of Washington ever created.