The Graduate Center - City University of New York

Recumbent Statue of General Robert E. Lee

One year after Robert E. Lee’s death in1871, the Lee Memorial Association commissioned Virginian sculptor Edward Valentine to create a life-size marble statue. The work was placed in the Lee Chapel, which was constructed at the request of Lee while he was president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) after the Civil War. Lee and his immediate family are buried beneath the chapel. The memorial represents Lee in his uniform asleep on the battlefield and is reminiscent of the sleeping knight effigies of Crusaders in British churches. The memorial was unveiled in 1883 and has become a shrine to the Confederate cause.

Creator: Edward Valentine

Date: 1870

Source: Lee Memorial Chapel, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia