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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 19 - Caricatures

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.

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