Gilded bronze equestrian statue depicting Joan of Arc riding into battle.
Signed: e. fremiet
thiebaut frères Fondeurs / Paris
A statue of Joan of Arc for Paris was commissioned in 1874 by Napoleon III intended to help re-establish French confidence after the humiliating military defeat of 1870 by the Prussian army.
Frémiet initially specialized as an animalier, producing highly naturalistic bronze sculptures and statuettes of animals, but he is best known for his equestrian monuments, and especially the one depicting Joan of Arc riding into battle. He was commissioned to make a monument in 1872 for the Place des Pyramides in Paris where Joan was wounded.
Frémiet was never satisfied with his work. He thought the horse was not to the same scale as the rider.
In 1889 the City of Nancy requested a reproduction of the statue. This gave him the opportunity to reduce the size of the horse and make a few other changes, including adding a muzzle to hide the horse's head and removing the harness around the rear.
When in 1899 the Paris statue was under threat by ongoing underground repairs to the street, Frémiet brought the sculpture back to his studio and began fixing his mistakes. He made Joan 20 cm taller and made the horse's neck thinner, changed the forehead and removed the rear harness. - Allthough, it is also said that Frémiet sent the original Paris statue to Philadelphia (who commissioned a copy of the statue), and had replaced the Paris statue in 1899 with a revised one, rather than melting down and recasting as he claimed.
Jeanne d'Arc - Timeline
- 1412 - Approx date of birth
- 1425 - Visions of Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret, who told her to drive out the English and bring the Dauphin to Rheims for his coronation
- 1428, May - Went to Vaucouleurs to ask garrison commander, Count Robert de Baudricourt, to send her to the royal French court at Chinon, but is sent away.
- 1429, February - Baudricourt allows Jeanne to join the Dauphin at Chinon.
- 1429, May 8 - Lifting of the siege of Orleans
- 1429, July 17 - Coronation of Charles VII in Reims
- 1430, May 23 - Captured at Compiègne
- 1431, May 30 - Executed at Rouen
- 1871 - After the defeat of 1871, in many French towns and villages statues of Jeanne d'Arc are erected.
- Emmanuel Frémiet (Paris 1824 - 1910),
French sculptor, produced in 1874 the first equestrian statue of Joan of Arc, erected in the Place des Pyramides, Paris; this he afterwards (1889) replaced with another version
Sources & Information
- Bernard Mugnier, La statuaire johannique du XVIe au XXe siècle (Vesoul: l'auteur, 2008), p. 206.
- Sainte Jeanne d'Arc, Statues en France (WebArchive).
- Waymarking.com, Jeanne d'Arc (Place des Pyramides).
- Wikipedia, Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc.
- Bryn Mawr College Library, Jehanne exhibit.
- Public Art around the World, Jeanne d'Arc Statue.
- See also photos on paris1900.lartnouveau.
- Phidias-Sculptures de rue, Les statues de rue de Paris.
- Kees van Tilburg, From Marcus Aurelius to Kim Jong-il: The story of equestrian statues throughout the ages (Amstelveen, 2017). – see also the Equestrian statue website.
Location (N 48°51'49" - E 2°19'55")
Item Code: frif006; Photograph: 25 May 2011
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