[Château de Chavaniac]

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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 23 - Homes: Chavaniac and LaGrange

The homes of Lafayette in France, Chavaniac and LaGrange, are depicted in the prints of Series XXIII. Chateau Chavaniac, the birthplace of Lafayette in 1757, still stands in the province of Auvergne in south central France. Lafayette's home from 1800 until his death in 1834 was LaGrange, an estate located approximately 50 kilometers southeast of Paris, between the small towns of Courpaley and Rozay-en-Brie. Several of the views of LaGrange in this collection are prints based on paintings by American artist Alvan Fisher (1792-1863). These views were later used as the designs for the transfer-prints on Staffordshire dinnerware created by the English ceramic company of Enoch Wood & Sons. Examples of these Fisher scenes on ceramics are located in the Marquis de Lafayette Memorabilia Collection. Another American artist, Clara Greenleaf Perry (1871-1960), is responsible for a grouping of lithographic images of Lafayette’s homes.

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