Aside from George Washington himself, Thomas Jefferson looms large as perhaps the most pivotal of the United States’ Founding Fathers. As author of the Declaration of Independence and the nation’s third president, Jefferson’s influence reverberated through generations of Americans. He’s also a key figure in French history, serving as the second U.S. Minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin and consulting with the Marquis de Lafayette during the early days of the French Revolution.
The influence of French art, architecture, and culture is felt when visiting Monticello, his historic home in Virginia. Some highlights of the virtual tours include:
The Parlor – The main room of the home, where Jefferson hosted social occasions and gatherings, would be right at home in late 18th century France, from the parquet flooring to the bust of Napoleon.
The Dome – Among the most noteworthy French influences in Monticello is the large domed ceiling on the third floor. Historians agree that the dome was modeled after the dome at the Halle aux Ble, a Parisian grain market Jefferson visited during his time as Minister to France.
The Bedchamber – Jefferson’s private bedchamber includes some of the most striking examples of French influences, from the silk damask bedcurtains he purchased in Paris to the skylight modeled after those he had seen in his rooms as a Minister to France.
With both paid and self-guided options, a virtual tour of Monticello will offer extensive and intriguing insight into the giant of both American and French history.