The Ladies of Liberty

I’ve always found it heartily satisfying that throughout history “liberty” is depicted as a woman. Ladies, how cool is that? 🙂  From the majestically imposing figure of the Statue of Liberty that rises above New York harbor, to Eugène Delacroix’s bare-breasted French flag-waver in Liberty Leading the People, women have provided the allegorical symbol of freedom since the classical age.

One of my personal favorites is the Statue of Freedom in Washington, D.C. A 19 foot tall bronze female figure, designed by American sculptor Thomas Crawford, which stands atop the dome of U.S. Capitol building. This is one badass gal. I’d honestly like to walk around in this get-up; the sword, the eagle-feather headdress, the fringed toga. Fabulous!

Freedom_1

The idea to blog about this topic came to me this morning at church, when a fellow parishioner handed me the program for the day’s service. In honor of the 4th of July weekend Fr. Byrne selected this lovely vintage Lady Liberty illustration for the cover:

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The church program reminded me of this superb lithograph by Currier and Ives,  again Lady Liberty with the American flag. This is Star-Spangled Banner from the online collection of the Library of Congress. Wonderful composition.

CurrierIves-StarSpangledBanner

A stunning $20 gold coin of Lady Liberty bearing olive branch and torch, minted 1921, designed by the renowned American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. From the National Museum of American History:

NMAH-AHB2011q64246

A happy Independence Day to my readers in the United States, and blessings of liberty, goodwill, and inspiration to all. Let freedom ring …

16 thoughts on “The Ladies of Liberty

  1. Carlo Kropp says:

    Thank you for your insights. You always provide information in that way that I would probably never know. Enjoy a glorious Fourth! Carlo.

  2. artmodelandrew says:

    “This is one badass gal. I’d honestly like to walk around in this get-up; the sword, the eagle-feather headdress, the fringed toga.”
    You’d make quite a fashion statement. Go for it.

  3. rmmauro01 says:

    Once again a great piece.
    You missed this one:
    THE LIBERTY OF POETRY STATUE AT THE BASILICA DI SANTA CROCE IN FLORENCE
    Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, creator of the Statue of Liberty in New York, lived in Florence in 1870. It was in that year that the artist Pio Fedi was creating the sample in plaster of the funerary monument of Giovanni Battista Niccolini. The statue done in marble was placed in the church of Santa Croce in the year 1883..The statue created by Bartholdi was placed in the bay of New York in 1887.

    Just search for Santa Croce Statue of Liberty or something to that effect.
    Truly a fascinating church. I wrote about Santa Croce here: https://rmmauro01.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/another-breathtaking-church-this-ones-got-dead-people-and-leather/

    There you’ll find my daily blog with photos from my weeks in Florence & Rome last fall.

    • artmodel says:

      rmmauro,

      Did you take all those photos on your blog? They’re fantastic! I’m glad you linked to it, as I wasn’t aware of it! Excellent pics. I haven’t been to Florence in over 20 years.

      Great info in your comment and your travel blog. Thank you for sharing!
      Good to hear from you..

      Claudia

      • rmmauro01 says:

        Yes, I did take all of the pics. I have thousands plus multiple movies. I’m working up to having more time to write another post. I had felt the need to go somewhere to jumpstart creativity and to live amongst all of that culture and history was glorious. Thanks for reading my blog, I knew you’d get it. The best way to see Florence & Italy is with someone you can share the experience with, although I was there for over a month by myself, and there’s something to be said for that growth experience, too. Like Michelangelo said, “Gazing At Beautiful Things Acts On My Soul”. I love your posts and writing style, and look forward to the next one.

        On the Liberty post, I just got this this today and thought I’d share: http://www.theflorentine.net/art-culture/2016/07/santa-croce-statue-liberty-become-partners/

  4. Bill says:

    You know, that Crawford outfit is really you — I can definitely see you walking around Central Park in that outfit. And I especially like the Saint-Gaudens’ coin — although my personal favorite is the Walking Liberty: http://www.pcgscoinfacts.com/UserImages/22059455o.jpg

    Are you receiving entries for the Museworthy Show yet?

    Have a great 4th!

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      Yes, the Walking Liberty is wonderful. Have you seen the Seated Liberty? Not by Saint-Gaudens but Christian Gobrecht. Also very nice:

      Entries are coming for the Museworthy show slowly. I think folks are taking their time! Still several weeks to go.

      Thanks for your comments!

      Claudia

      • Bill says:

        Thanks, I hadn’t seen that one. You’re right, it is nice. All of this makes me nostalgic for the days when our money could feature this sort of imagery.

  5. Chris B says:

    You might be interested in this article about Lady Liberty/Columbia, and how she was displaced as the symbol of America . . . http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/03/when-america-was-female/273672/

    As a bonus, the article features some cool visuals of her through the decades, including photos of suffragists in liberty costume!

    • artmodel says:

      Chris,

      That’s a great article thank you! Very informative and, you’re right, the images are excellent. I especially like the one with the Chinese immigrants, that’s a lovely drawing.

      Thanks again for sharing and commenting!

      Claudia

  6. artmodelandrew says:

    I’m all for retiring Uncle Sam, but I’m on the fence about whether to we should bring back Columbia or pass the baton to Sam the Eagle. http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Sam_the_Eagle

    • artmodel says:

      Andrew,

      Ha, it’s funny because Sam the Eagle has the same stern expression as Uncle Sam. He’s still cute though. That Captain America one is hilarious. Love the Muppets 🙂

      Thanks!

      Claudia

  7. Laurence Byrne says:

    What fun to find one of my bulletins while puttering around the internet!

    • artmodel says:

      Father Byrne!

      I’m delighted that my blog post popped up during your Internet puttering! You always make first rate art selections for the church bulletin, so your appearance on an art blog is well deserved.

      Thanks for commenting, and see you in church!

      Claudia

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