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Marquis de Lafayette Prints Collection

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.

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Marquis de Lafayette Prints Series 09 - Portraits: Scheffer

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.

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