Lafayette, Marquis de
The 19th century was the great era of monumental sculpture. Many of the smaller sculptures in the Norton were originally maquettes (small sculptural models) that were used for various portions of larger-than-life-size monuments, memorials, and mausoleums. One often revisited subject for monuments in both countries was the unique friendship between France and America during the American Revolution. Washington could not have possibly led American troops to victory without the substantial aid of the French, most notably with their Navy and the army led by the Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette was also a hero of the French Revolution as well and an important political figure in early 19th century France, despite his loss of favor during the Napoleonic Empire. His significance for France as a republic is commemorated in Lafayette, the maquette for a monumental sculpture by Aime-Jules Dalou. In the late 19th century, Jules Dalou was considered Auguste Rodins rival for the title of the greatest French sculptor. So popular was this particular piece that a version of it was edited in porcelain by Sevres in addition to bronze editions.