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Hayden
Hayden • 2 years 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 was forced to make death masks of people she had known. To name a few, Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Marat and Robespierre.

Death mask of Marie Antoinette by Marie Tussaud

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Portrait of Louis XVI before his death-looking like an old man. His execution made him the first victim of the Reign of Terror. His wife Marie Antoinette was guillotined on 16 October, the same year.

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

The wedding contract of the future king Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

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.

A ring with locks of hair of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI