This bronze sculpture depicts the Marquis de Lafayette (1757–1834), the French-born general who fought on behalf of American rebels during the American Revolution. Cast in 1873 and dedicated in 1876, the piece is a token of appreciation from the French government for aid New York provided Paris during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1) -- thus the inscription “in remembrance of sympathy in times of trial.” The larger-than-life-sized figure was sculpted by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi (1834–1904), who also designed the Statue of Liberty (1886), another gift from the French government that figures prominently in New York Harbor. The granite pedestal designed by H.W. DeStuckle was donated by French citizens living in New York. Lafayette appears in another Bartholdi sculpture at Lafayette Square in Upper Manhattan that depicts him shaking General George Washington`s hand. Lafayette is also honored in Brooklyn`s Prospect Park with a bas-relief on a stele by Daniel Chester French, who designed the figure of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In 1991 the monument was conserved through the Adopt-A-Monument Program, a joint venture of the Municipal Art Society, Parks and the New York City Art Commission.

Installed, Sept 6, 1876

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