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Thomas Jefferson

ca. 1857 Henry Dmochowski Saunders Born: Poland 1810 Died: Poland 1863 Copy after Jean-Antoine Houdon Born: Versailles, France 1741 Died: Paris, France 1828 plaster/cast and patinated 28 3/4 x 19 1/2 x 10 in. (73.0 x 49.5 x 24.4 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase XX70 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 20B


Luce Center Label

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was a popular subject of American portraitists throughout his lifetime. French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon’s portrait bust has had the greatest impact in America because it was reproduced on the Jefferson dollar, minted in 1903 to commemorate the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. For this work, Henry Saunders copied Houdon’s bust while still living in Philadelphia, where the artist would have been able to study a bronzed plaster cast of it in the collection of the American Philosophical Society.

Keywords

Occupation - political - president

Portrait male - Jefferson, Thomas - bust

sculpture

plaster