Update

To help support the city’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, New-York Historical is temporarily closed to the public until it is safe to reopen. More details on our Visit page.

Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834)

Object Number: 
1939.9
Date: 
ca. 1781-1785
Medium: 
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 
Overall (canvas): 18 1/2 x 16 1/2 in. (47 x 41.9 cm) Frame: 22 1/2 x 20 1/4 x 2 in. (57.2 x 51.4 x 5.1 cm)
Gallery Label: 
Marie-Joseph-Paul-Ives-Roch-Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette (1757-1834) was the scion of a noble family with a long tradition of military service. The Marquis de Lafayette joined the French army at age fourteen, but resigned six years later to offer his services to the revolutionary cause in America. Soon commissioned a Major General by the Continental Congress, he was placed in command of troops in Virginia, where he met George Washington. The two became lifelong friends. In this youthful portrait, Lafayette holds a scroll commemorating his victory in the Virginia campaign. Artist Francesco Casanova enjoyed a distinguished career, but his fame in recent times has been eclipsed by that of his brother, Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, notorious for his amorous pursuits. A copy of Casanova's portrait, commissioned by Lafayette's family during his lifetime, is still owned by descendants.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Forsyth Wickes
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group