BARTHOLDI, Frédéric-Auguste

Colmar, Haut-Rhin 1834 - Paris 1904

Maker: Barbedienne

La Fayette arrivant en Amérique (Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette ou Lafayette, 1757-1834)

Lafayette arriving in America (Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette or La Fayette, 1757-1834)




Dimensions (HxWxD): total dimensions : 180 x 72 x 72 in.

on the bronze statue: F. BARBEDIENNE - FONDEUR - PARIS / A. BARTHOLDI 1873
on the granite pedestal, in front: LAFAYETTE
on the granite pedestal, south side: TO THE CITY OF NEW YORK. / FRANCE / IN REMEMBRANCE OF SYMPATHY / IN TIMES OF TRIAL. / 1870-1871
on the granite pedestal, north side: AS SOON AS I HEARD OF / AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE / MY HEART WAS ENLISTED / 1776

Photo credit: ph Wikimedia/Another Believer

© Artist : public domain


  • Information given by Mme Isabelle Bräutigam, Director of Musée Bartholdi à Colmar (26 March 2020):
  • 1872, February, The State (Charles Blanc, directeur des Beaux-Arts) commissions Bartholdi to create a statue of Lafayette. Several "American committees of relief to the victims of the 1870-1871 War" wished that France would give a statue of lafayette in gratitude of the help received.
  • 1872, March 13, Bartholdi acceptes the commission: "I hope to be worth representing French art in the big American metropolis".
  • 1873, May, The plaster model is exhibited at the Paris Salon.
  • 1875, The statue is cast by Barbedienne
  • 1875, The statue arrives in New York. The first location chosen was Central Park, but Bartholdi finds it too far away and prefers Union Square.
  • 1876, September 6, on Lafayette's birthday and celebrating the centennial of the American Independence, the statue is dedicated, Bartholdi being present.
  • New York, Union Square



Related works

  • Plaster model exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1874, no. 1511.
    Preparatory model in tinted plaster, 50 x 20,5 x 17 cm., signed and dated on right side in back "A. Bartholdi - 1872", Colmar, Musée Bartholdi, acc. no. SB 290.
    Bronze reduction, 70 x 33 x 23 cm., signed and dated on right side in back "A. Bartholdi - 1873", stamp on terrasse on back at right "réduction mécanique A. Collas [... ?], Colmar, Musée Bartholdi, acc. no. SB 293.