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Hayden • 1 year ago

Marie Tussaud was one of the most successful career women of the 19th century. She is truly a fascinating woman. At the age of 17, she became the art tutor to King Louis XVI’s sister and then, during the French Revolution, was hastily forced to prove her allegiance to the feudalistic nobles by making the death masks of executed aristocrats. In 1802, when her marriage dissolved, she left France and took her sons and her waxworks to England; where she began displaying her lifelike artwork.

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Madame Tussaud took a death mask of Marie Antoinette, after her execution.

The guillotine blade that was used to behead Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution on 16 October 1793. The blade is on display at Madame Tussauds in London.

Madame Tussaud was forced to make death masks of people she had known. To name a few, Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Marat and Robespierre.

Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution I'd love to read!

Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI.

Madame Tussaud at age 42. She is said to have helped the cult of celebrity with her waxworks of the famous at the time, and with the founding of her waxworks museum. Marie Tussaud made her first wax figure—Jean Jacques Rousseau—at the age of 17, and followed that with Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin. She was also employed during the French Revolution in the gruesome task of making death masks of the victims of the guillotine.

wedding contract of louis xvi and marie antoinette

| Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette before Revolution

Marie Tussaud was arrested and taken to the Bastille for being a royalist supporter. Her head was shaven, a custom before being taken to the guillotine, but was pardoned. She was forced to do not only one of the more curious acts in history, but one of the most morbid. She was employed to make death masks. The first were of course the most obvious: Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Marriage Contract of Louis XVI & Marie Antoinette.