Statues - Hither & Thither
Ville de Paris
Place des Pyramides (1e)
Joan of ArcSaint Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc), The Maid of Orléans (ca. 1412 - 1431)
national heroine of France, beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War
Gilded bronze equestrian statue depicting Joan of Arc riding into battle.
A statue of Joan of Arc for Paris was commissioned in 1872 by the Ministère de l'Instruction publique et des Beaux Arts under Napoleon III and was 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.
Signed: e. fremiet
thiebaut frères Fondeurs / Paris