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Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was the creator of the Statue of Liberty, numerous famous French patriotic monuments, and several attractive fountains.
The great French sculptor behind the Statue of Liberty, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, was born on August 2, 1834, in Colmar, France. When Bartholdi’s father passed away, Bartholdi moved to Paris with his mother and older brother.
Bartholdi’s family moved back and forth to Colmar to maintain their family home there, which was later turned into Bartholdi’s Museum. Read on to learn some more interesting aspects related to the life of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi.
Are you looking forward to some interesting facts about the famous Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi? Then here are some truly interesting facts related to the famous sculptor.
During his lifetime, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi contributed to the arts and became a French Delegate in the United States.
He also participated in the Franco-Prussian War with the responsibility of the Liaison Officer.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's experience in the war later inspired him to construct many monuments to show the world French bravery and heroism.
The Lion of Belfort is an example of such heroism.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was born with artistic abilities.
He studied drawing, architecture, and painting under the honorable Henri Labouste and Ary Scheffer.
However, his passion for sculptures made him one of the most popular sculptors in the world.
Along with being a well-known French sculptor, Bartholdi was chosen as one of the French Commissioners (1876) at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.
He displayed some of his artwork there.
He received the bronze medal for ‘Peace and Genius in the Grasp of Misery’.
Originally, Bartholdi designed the Statue of Liberty while keeping the Suez Canal in mind.
He proposed the idea of building a lighthouse, ‘Egyptian Fella’, a woman draped in a cloth bearing a torchlight,'carrying the light to Asia'.
This design was rejected by the Egyptian ruler, Khedive Ismail Pasha, who was funding the canal.
Edouard De Laboulaye offered the opportunity to Frederic Auguste Bartholdi to make his colossal statue a reality.
It was before he was enlisted in the military temporarily.
He led a local regiment of soldiers from his town.
The French government assigned him the role of Squadron Leader of the National Guard as well as liaison officer during the Franco-Prussian war.
A Franco-Prussian War fought in 1870 between France and Prussia led to the unification of Germany.
This war left a huge impact on Bartholdi’s life. Liberty is one of the three principles they believe in.
Bartholdi joined the Union Franco Americaine group ,advocating independence and liberty, bringing two nations together with the same ideals.
This is how the ‘Statue of Liberty: Liberty Enlightening the World' was created.
Bartholdi designed the statue to keep the American struggle for independence and sentiments in mind.
The idea was also enrooted in French principles and personal loss as well.
The statue was sculpted in honor of the 100th anniversary of American Independence Day (July 4, 1876).
The lady's one foot is stepping forward towards enlightenment and the other is beside the broken chains, representing independence by breaking the shackles that were holding them back.
The book that Lady Liberty has in her hands has documents like the declaration of independence and torch.
The Statue of Liberty, located in the New York Harbor, welcomes millions of visitors and immigrants as a symbol of new and better beginnings.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was 50 years old when he constructed the Statue of Liberty.
It took him more than 20 years to create the statue.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and his team used almost 31 tons of copper sheets on a steel frame to create the famous statue.
The Statue of Liberty is mounted on a pedestal.
This statue was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland to the nation.
The inauguration of the Statue of Liberty was done on October 28, 1886.
Over several years, the torch held by the Statue of Liberty has undergone several modifications.
The modifications include the transformation to electric power in 1916.
The torch was redesigned with copper sheathed in gold leaf in the '80s.
This was the time when the Statue of Liberty was repaired by American and French workers.
The major repair project was undertaken for a centennial celebration of the Statue of Liberty held in July 1986.
The site of the Statue of Liberty was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1984.
Regular repair and maintenance work is still carried out on the Statue of Liberty.
The French government also awarded Frederic Auguste Bartholdi with the Legion of Honor in 1886, which is considered one of the highest honors of merit, both in military and civil.
The Bartholdi Fountain in Bartholdi Park, Lafayette Arriving in America in Union Square, New York City, and the Statue of Liberty in New York are among his most famous works.
When he died on October 4, 1904, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was 70 years old.
While Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi originally wanted to be an architect, he later took a liking to sculpting.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi is regarded as one of the greatest sculptors of modern times.
His statues and monuments are visited by millions of visitors every year.
His statues and sculptures are located in France and the US.
He is highly respected by the people of both countries.
Here are some of the most fascinating facts pertaining to the famous works of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi: -
Frederic was also known for his other artistic interests, such as oil painting, watercolors, and photography, and he was very active in these areas as well.
Frederic, along with other orientalist painters, visited Egypt in 1855 with the likes of Jean Leon Gerome.
That’s where his interest in colossal statues began, which later became a model for Lady Liberty.
Frederic's art journey was initiated by sculpting patriotic monuments in the city dear to his heart, Alsace.
The first-ever sculpture that he crafted was of ‘The Good Samaritan’ for the salon in 1853.
Two years later, he built the memorial to Napoleonic General Jean Rapp.
He has commemorated painters as well. Martin Schongauer, who is known for his famous work, Madonna In The Rose Garden, is located in Colmar, Musee Bartholdi, Colmar (1861–1863).
His most well-known patriotic monument for France would be the Lion of Belfort, which was the result of the personal sense of loss he felt when Germany defeated France, conquering Alsace.
The Lion of Belfort is the symbol of French heroics and the struggle faced during the Prussian assault period.
The sculpture is 36 ft (11 m) tall and 72 ft (22 m) in length, which took about a whole decade to complete (1880).
The blocks were sculpted individually and then assembled at Belfort Castle, where it is located.
The Statue of Liberty was built in a similar way.
The statue was built in parts, and a total of 350 parts were packed in 214 crates which were taken to America’s New York Harbor (June 19, 1885).
It took almost one year to assemble the statue and place it on the pedestal.
The material used in building this mighty colossal was thin bronze sheets covering the casting-iron framework constructed by Eugene Emmanuel Voilet Le-Duc and Gustave Eiffel, who is also the mastermind behind the Eiffel Tower.
The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of France and America’s friendship. It was entirely crowdfunded.
Americans raised money there for the construction of the pedestal, which took a really long time to finish.
Joseph Pulitzer, the editor of the New York World, pledged to print the name of every person who would donate, which attracted many donors.
France raised $250,000 for the statue, while America raised $300,000.
Construction of the colossal sculpture was done in France, and Bartholdi raised money by selling miniatures of the statue and also by showcasing finished parts to raise money.
The complete statue reached a height of 305 ft (93 m) above the mean water level.
Other noticeable works include famous monuments; Bartholdi Monument Hern (1894), Fontaine Roesemann (1888), The Bartholdi Fountain in Bartholdi Park (1878 - Washington DC), and the Statue of Christopher Columbus (1893), whose replica was established in Rhode Island, which was demolished in 2020 following protests.
Looking for more information on the life timeline of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi? Here are some of the essential aspects related to the life of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi:
Frederic Auguste traveled a lot during his lifetime.
His first move was from Colmar to Paris in 1843, when he was around nine years old, along with his brother Jean Charles, who became a lawyer and an editor, and his mother, Augusta Charlotte Bartholdi when Bartholdi’s father died.
Bartholdi’s father was a well-reputed man and counselor to the prefecture.
They moved to Paris to live with extended family while maintaining the family home that was later turned into the Bartholdi Museum in 1922, a memorial for his artworks.
His career began in 1853 when he made sculptures for the salon and was officially appointed by the Alsace city to work on the memorial of Jean Rapp.
In 1855 and 1856, he visited Egypt and Yemen to search for commissions and inspiration with other French artists.
He returned to Egypt in 1869, but his idea for a lighthouse was rejected.
In 1857, he joined Freemasons' Lodges in Alsace and Lorrain.
When France was defeated, he migrated to America to find a new home and work on new colossal statue projects there.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi married Jeanne-Emele Baheux in Rhode Island in 1876 and was appointed French Commissioner in Philadelphia the following year.
In 1878, his sculpture of Gribeuval became the property of the French nation.
The Lion of Belfort was finished and opened to visitors in 1880, which took him over a decade to finish.
Bartholdi was nearly 52 years old when the Statue of Liberty was inaugurated on October 28, 1886.
In the same year, he was honored with the high commander rank and the legion honor by the French government for his contribution to their country, as well as America, with his gift of a giant sculpture that stands for ‘ Liberty Enlightening The World’.
Bartholdi died at the age of 70 on October 14, 1904, because of tuberculosis in the city of Paris.
Considering his love for his hometown and the number of sculptures he has built, his home, located at 30 rue des Marchands, Colmar, was turned into a museum.
The museum is known as ‘Musée Bartholdi’
Several other monuments were designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi.
In the year 1890, he created the Statue of Liberty in Potosí, Bolivia.
In the year 1892, he created Fontaine Bartholdi in Lyon, France.
In 1893, he created the statue of Christopher Columbus, cast in silver in Chicago, Illinois.
Do you often wonder how qualified Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was? Read on for some interesting facts related to the educational qualifications of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi:
Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was an ambitious child.
After moving to Paris, the young Bartholdi showed an interest in the arts.
He explored and studied various spectrums of art, such as oil paintings, drawing, photography, and architecture, before settling down as a sculptor at the end.
He attended Lycée Louis Le Grand in Paris and received his bachelorette in 1852.
Frederic took drawing lessons with Martin Ross Batch. He went on to study architecture with Henri Labrouste and Eugene Emmanuel Voillet Le Duc at the Beaux-Arts de Paris, France's classical and historical art school.
Scheffer, with whom Bartholdi learned to paint, suggested that he should pursue the art of making sculptures since he was very interested in it. Upon Scheffer’s advice, he joined the studio of Jean Francois Sioux.
He studied sculpture with Antoine Etex.
His trip to Egypt and Yemen was no less than an educational experience for him.
Bartholdi traveled with fellow orientalist painter Jean Leon Gerome to photograph the antiquity of the terrain.
He noticed giant colossal sculptures in the ruins of the ancient cities.
Bartholdi designed the torch-bearing woman, the Statue of Liberty, inspired by these figures.
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