Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Madame Tussaud

Madame Tussaud’s establishment in London, founded in 1835, is the most long-lived and famous wax museum. Madame Tussaud was a very remarkable woman. She survived the French revolution, brought her waxworks to England, and made them the most popular tourist attraction in London.

Marie Tussaud was born as Marie Grosholz in late 1761 in Strasburg, France and died in 1850. Tussaud's widowed mother moved her children to Switzerland, where they lived with Phillipe Curtuis, a talented sculptor of wax heads.

While living in the home, Marie learned the trade of wax modeling and later took her talents to the aristocrats. Tussaud knew many of the leading figures of pre-revolutionary Paris and indeed was invited to live at the Royal Court in Versailles to be the art tutor to King Luis XVI’s sister.

Her sympathies toward the king led to her incarceration during the Revolution, and she was forced to make death masks of the royalty she once adored. Some of Tussaud's more famous works were the likes of Marie Antionette and other prominent French figures; she also made casts of victims of the guillotine.

In 1802, Madame Tussaud left France and took her collection of death masks to England, where they were put on display in what later became known as the “Chamber of Horrors.” Her museum contains of the great contemporaries, including Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin. By the turn of the 21st century branches of her museum were located throughout the world.
Madame Tussaud
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