Richmond, Virginia: World's Most Accurate Likeness of George Washington

Chiseled from marble, life-size, by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon, who spent two weeks in 1785 taking careful measurements of the living Washington. It was considered such a perfect likeness that over 30 copies were made and scattered to other cities and other state capitols; if you've seen a Washington statue, there's a good chance it's this one. Unveiled in 1796, it's held up surprisingly well, sustaining only minor damage from all the castings and some cracks from a nearby pistol duel in 1866.

Virginia State Capitol

Address:
1000 Bank St., Richmond, VA
Directions:
The statue has a place of honor in the center of the 2nd floor rotunda of the Virginia State Capitol.
Hours:
M-Sa 8-5, Su 1-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
804-698-1788
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About World's Most Accurate Likeness of George Washington

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

World's Most Accurate Likeness of George Washington

Sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon took his measurements at Mt. Vernon, and also took a plaster life mask of Washington to ensure the most perfect possible likeness. Washington never saw the finished product.

[Roger Crook, 02/01/2020]

Washington statue.

World's Most Accurate Likeness of George Washington

Inside the rotunda of the Virginia State Capitol, Jean-Antoine Houdon's George Washington sculpture is surrounded by busts of the seven other Virginia-born presidents.

Most seem to be good likenesses, although I personally question the William Henry Harrison bust. It doesn't look like Harrison, or at least not 68-year-old President-for-a-month Harrison.

The busts were unveiled in 1931 and are joined by a bust of the Marquis de Lafayette, which, like Washington, was sculpted by Houdon. The 2012 film "Lincoln" was partially filmed in the capitol, and the bust of Woodrow Wilson was temporarily removed from the rotunda to maintain era accuracy.

[Kurt Deion, 07/01/2015]
Roadside Presidents
Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Poe MuseumPoe Museum, Richmond, VA - < 1 mi.
Mr. SmedleyMr. Smedley, Richmond, VA - < 1 mi.
Abe and Tad Lincoln StatueAbe and Tad Lincoln Statue, Richmond, VA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Washington's Mom's House, Fredericksburg, VA - 53 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Virginia Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Point Reyes Lighthouse: The Fog, Inverness, California (Jun 27-Jul 3, 2022)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings