Author Topic: MA & LouisXVI's remains  (Read 44244 times)

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palatine

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2006, 12:54:54 PM »
Madame Tussaud’s uncle made a living by making and selling wax heads and figures.  He had a gallery of famous historical figures, and even sculpted Marie Antoinette before the revolution.  Madame Tussaud was his apprentice and eventually inherited his business, which was booming, since wax sculptures were inexpensive compared to marble or porcelain.  Tussaud claimed that she regularly visited Versailles and taught Madame Elisabeth how to make wax flowers and so forth, but its my understanding that there is no evidence that Tussaud really did so.

After Marie Antoinette’s execution, her body was taken to a cemetery and was reportedly left unburied for a week or two; the ground was hard because it was winter.  Madame Tussaud claimed that she was ordered by the revolutionaries to go out to the graveyard and make a wax impression of the queen’s head for posterity.  She also claimed that she was ordered to make impressions of other famous people who had been guillotined.  Tussaud eventually moved to England and opened a museum where she displayed them.

I’m not sure if the wax head of Marie Antoinette is still on display.  I have an old book called “The Romance of Madame Tussaud’s” by John Tussaud which includes a picture of it.  It's not gory in any way.

As for the guillotine blade on display at the museum, it was certainly used during the Reign of Terror, but its impossible to know with certainty whether it was the blade used to execute Marie Antoinette.  Tussaud bought it from a man who told her it was the authentic blade but had no way to prove it.      

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2006, 01:06:32 PM »
I saw Marie's and Louis's wax head replicas when I visited Madame Tussaud's a few years ago (yes, they are still on display!). They are in the museum's "Chamber of Horror" downstairs (If I remember correctly, this is what they call it). The story goes is that Madame Tussaud was called in and ordered to make the death masks, and these wax heads were then made from the original death masks. I have a picture of them somewhere that I took myself at the museum, so if I remember, I can post it later.... They are not so pleasant to look at, but like apaltine says, not really gory, and interesting.

Offline Sissi

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2006, 01:22:22 PM »
Thank you guys! it is very enlightening!! ;D
 I can`t imagine that her body stayed "out there" for so long!

  Wasn`t it a common grave so I suppose It was open pretty much all day long, because the execution where every day.

Offline Sissi

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2006, 01:37:17 PM »
Here is the picture I found on the internet,morbid definetely!!
:-X


Offline pers

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2006, 01:38:36 PM »
Sissi,
This website will not come up.  Is there another link?  I do not believe MA's corpse was left out for days on end.  She was buried separately the very same day of her excecution, although Mme Tussaud had the time to take the wax death mask before the burial itself.  You'll remember that her remains were later dug up and transferred to the Basilica of St. Denis.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2006, 01:39:32 PM »
This is sort of similar to my photo, but mine is more of a close-up, I think... I may even have two photos, from different angles, but I am not sure. When I get home, I will see if I can find it and post it.

Offline pers

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2006, 01:40:58 PM »
Now all of a sudden it made it's appearance after I posted.  Yes those are the heads of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, although very much bloodied for effect...

Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2006, 01:46:15 PM »
I think in Antonia Frasers bio of MA she states the head and body was left on the ground for several days...

When i went to Madame Tassauds five years ago the head was still on display. Such a contrast to the beautiful Marie Antoinette!!

They also have the actual blade which beheaded MA (so they claim) on display with a note on how the museum managed to acquire it.  
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2006, 01:56:42 PM »
Come to think of it, I think the heads in my photo look somewhat different, but it could be that they change their hairstyles  periodically (why knows why... ) ;) !

Offline pers

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2006, 02:05:10 PM »
The wax model uncannily matches the marble busts I have seen of MA.  It is actually quite chilling to see this colour photograph after all.  I think it must have been horrific to go to your death like that.  I now can take some pity on Mme Du Barry for having lost it when her turn came to be guillotined - though I have never liked her. :-/

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2006, 03:20:52 PM »
Quote
I now can take some pity on Mme Du Barry for having lost it when her turn came to be guillotined


I think Du Barry was the only one who actually had a normal human reaction to what was happening to her, and did not supress a natural urge to fight for her life or to show that she was terrified (as anyone would be). The others went to their deaths in a "dignified" way, without putting up any fight at all, or showing any emotion even. Perhaps if more acted like Du Barry, the common people at least would have seen them as human and therefore would have pitied them more and maybe objected more to all these executions, so possibly there wouldn't have been as many [?]... Who knows... But IMO, when the aristocrats acted dignified and haughty at the time of their executions, it made the common people dislike them even more, instead of pitying them... because they couldn't relate as much to their behavior. So maybe this is why not as many people objected to ti as may have. This is probably a silly and simplistic theory, but it could have been the case on a certain level.

Sorry for digressing!

Offline Sissi

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2006, 03:48:48 PM »
It must have been terrifying for the people "next in line" to see the head in the baskette and to know it was going to be their turn!

  In the case of Madame du Barry it must have been pitiful to see her beg for a little moment more!!! :-[


Offline Sissi

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2006, 03:49:49 PM »
Quote
Come to think of it, I think the heads in my photo look somewhat different, but it could be that they change their hairstyles  periodically (why knows why... ) ;) !


They probably change the wigs periodically! Do you have the pictures dear Helen ???

Offline Sissi

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2006, 04:14:48 PM »
For you Coquelicot  ;)




(in color)

Offline Sissi

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Re: MA & LouisXVI's remains
« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2006, 04:17:06 PM »