Marianne is the national symbol of the French Republic, an image usually associated with the values of the French Revolution “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”. The popular image of a young woman, dressed in robes and wearing a Phrygian cap with the tricolour cockade takes dozens of slightly different aspects that have evolved during different episodes of the modern history of France.
During the French Revolution, diverse allegorical images appeared in an attempt to show a visual representation of concepts such as Liberty or Reason. The image of Marianne as we know it today was first depicted by the painter Jean-Michel Moreau in 1775 and became popular when it was used on a 1792 commemorative medal of the storming of the Bastille. Soon after, at the times in which the young republic radicalised into what today is known as the “Reign of Terror” the image portrayed a more violent fighter woman, often bare-chested, that lead the people of France in its war against oppression. The visual aspect changed even further in successive phases, depending on the political mood and the message that the propaganda wanted to transmit.
For our bust, we played with the idea of Marianne having a real life inspiration, a young and determined woman that could have marched with the people of Paris that fateful July the 14th in 1789.
Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Qu’un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!