The Departure of the Volunteers in 1792 ("La Marseillaise") (Le Départ des volontaires de 1792 ["La Marseillaise"]), maquette Title: The Departure of the Volunteers in 1792 ("La Marseillaise") (Le Départ des volontaires de 1792 ["La Marseillaise"]),
On View: European Art Galleries, 5th floor
This maquette (a small model or sketch), in which the artist’s fingerprints and tool marks are visible, was made for a relief sculpture on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris (see illustration). It depicts armed men urged onward by a fierce, winged female warrior, who represents the victorious spirit of Liberty and the embodiment of France. The subject commemorates a crucial moment in 1792
(the year the French national anthem known as “La Marseillaise” was composed) when citizens volunteered to defend the young republic against Prussia and Austria, which sought to restore France’s recently toppled monarchy.
Emperor Napoleon commissioned the Arc de Triomphe in 1806 to celebrate his military victories. Unfinished when his empire collapsed in 1815, the monument was only completed in 1836 during the reign of King Louis-Philippe, who had proudly fought among the 1792 volunteers depicted in François Rude’s allegory.
Although the personification of Liberty wears the symbolic Phrygian cap of people freed from slavery in ancient Rome, France did not outlaw slavery in its colonies until 1794. Napoleon reinstated it in 1802, and it was not until 1848 that the legal structures of slavery were constitutionally dismantled in France.
27 1/2 × 19 × 4 3/4 in., 67 lb. (69.9 × 48.3 × 12.1 cm)
mount (overall with object): 28 × 19 × 6 in. (71.1 × 48.3 × 15.2 cm) (show scale)
Purchased with funds given by Iris and B. Gerald Cantor
François Rude (French, 1784-1855). The Departure of the Volunteers in 1792 ("La Marseillaise") (Le Départ des volontaires de 1792 ["La Marseillaise"]), maquette Title: The Departure of the Volunteers in 1792 ("La Marseillaise") (Le Départ des volontaires de 1792 ["La Marseillaise"]), , 1834-1835. Terracotta, 27 1/2 × 19 × 4 3/4 in., 67 lb. (69.9 × 48.3 × 12.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by Iris and B. Gerald Cantor, 1989.7. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1989.7_SL1.jpg)
overall, 1989.7_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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