She Has Wax Museums In Her Name Worldwide And Here Is The Fascinating Story Of Marie Tussaud

Jerome - - illustrative purposes only

Have you been to one of the infamous Madame Tussauds wax museums? If you have, did you get the chance to learn about the woman they’re named after?

Before her name was associated with the famous wax museums, Marie Tussaud was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1761.

When she was six, her family moved to Bern, Switzerland, and lived with physician and wax modeler Philippe Curtius.

Philippe was well known for using wax modeling to make depictions of anatomy before he moved into making portraits.

In 1765, he opened Cabinet de Portraits En Cire, a wax portrait cabinet, in Paris. He was asked to make a wax portrait of Madame du Barry, Louis XV’s famous mistress, which elevated his career.

Marie learned all about wax modeling under Philippe’s guidance and was quite good at it. Before long, she began working for him. Her first wax figure was of Voltaire, which she made in 1777.

Between 1780-1789, Marie was invited to work at the Palace of Versailles and give Madame Élisabeth art lessons.

But when the French Revolution broke out, she was arrested during the Reign of Terror for being a loyalist. However, it is said that she was released and spared from execution due to her connections to Philippe.

For some time, she was hired to make death masks, a model of a person’s face after they died, for the famous victims of the revolution. This includes Marie Antoinette, who Marie was ordered to make a death mask for right after she was executed by guillotine.

Jerome – – illustrative purposes only

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