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HOUDON, Jean-Antoine

Versailles, Yvelines 1741 - Paris 1828

Maker:

George Washington / Tombe du Soldat inconnu de la guerre d'Indépendance

George Washington / Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier

c. 1790, cast c. 1922

bronze on granite base

statue

Dimensions (HxWxD): H. 67 12 in.

Credit Line: Gift of John D. McIlhenny to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in memory of his father

Photo credit: ph Wikimedia/KenThomas

© Artist:


Provenance

  • Gift of John D. McIlhenny to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in memory of his father
  • 1954, It was given to the Fairmount Park Commission and installed in Washington Square, Walnut Street between 6th and 7th Streets

Bibliography

  • Smithsonian Institution/SOS! website, August 14, 2015
  • 1974 Fairmount Park Art Association
    Fairmount Park Art Assoc., "Sculpture of a City: Philadelphia's Treasures in Bronze & Stone," NY: Walker Publ., 1974, pg. 28
  • 1985 University of Delaware
    Index of American Sculpture, University of Delaware, 1985
  • 1992 Bach
    Bach, Penny Balkin, "Public Art in Philadelphia," Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992, pg. 191
  • 1993 SOS!
    Save Outdoor Sculpture, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia survey, 1993

Comment

  • http://associationforpublicart.org/interactive-art-map/george-washington, accessed August 17, 2015:
    Jean Antoine Houdon came to America with Benjamin Franklin in 1785 to model a full-figure sculpture of George Washington. Houdon, then considered one of the finest sculptors in Europe, had recently completed a bust of Franklin, who was serving as ambassador to France. The figure of Washington was to be the first monumental sculptural effort of the new nation, of “finest marble and best workmanship.” The original clay model was completed in 1788; the stone was carved between 1788 and 1791; and the statue was set on its pedestal in the Virginia State House, Richmond, in 1796. This casting, one of three in existence, was donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art by John McIlhenny in memory of his father. In 1954 it was given to the Fairmount Park Commission and installed in Washington Square. (Adapted from Public Art in Philadelphia by Penny Balkin Bach,Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1992).