Family Life: 1780 - 1820
Customs: Marketing Gentility
Non-Flash version of interactive activity-- no plug-in required. Also suitable for screen readers.
This ceramic teapot is richly glazed with a deep blue image that is printed over its entire surface. The image is mostly floral but each side of the teapot between the spout and the curving handle depicts Lafayette reclining as he gazes at the tomb of Benjamin Franklin. The Tomb is a rectangular stone sarcofagus with a scupted Grecian urn on top. To the left of the urn is a weeping willow tree -- a common symbol of mourning. In the background is a small Grecian style temple with rays of light emanating from its dome. To the right of the temple is a triple-masted ship sailing.
Following is the text from the interactive activity. This text refers to things depicted in the image.
The Marquis de Lafayette came from France as a young man to fight in the American Revolution, returning to his own country after the war. He meets enthusiastic crowds and receptions when he returns as an elderly man to tour the United States in 1824.
Benjamin Franklin was enormously popular in France and almost single-handedly engineered the crucial alliance between France and the United States during the American Revolution.
Classical Grecian Urns like this are common symbols of mourning in the young republic. They appear frequently on monuments and in mourning pictures.
Greek and Roman-style temples are popular symbols during the Enlightenment. These classical structures are supposed to link the new United States with the Roman Republic and Athenian democracy in the mind of the viewer.
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