Jean Antoine Houdon

   Jean Antoine Houdon (1740-1828) was the greatest French sculptor of his day, was born at Versailles. He began work in his art at a very early age, and at twenty won the coveted Prix de Rome. Houdon studied in Rome for ten years, at the end of which he returned to Paris as instructor at the School of Fine Arts. Among his finest works are the busts of Catherine II, Moliere, Rousseau, Voltaire, Buffon, Lafayette, Napoleon, Franklin and Washington. To make the latter, which is now in the state capitol of Richmond, Va., Houdon accompanied Franklin to the United States in 1785. It is considered the finest likeness of Washington extant.

Houdon's Washington

Bust of Washington (Houdon)