Bartholdi, Frederic-Auguste

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Bartholdi, Frederic-Auguste Gender: M
born on 2 August 1834 at 06:30 (= 06:30 AM )
Place Colmar, France, 48n05, 7e22
Timezone LMT m7e22 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Steinbrecher
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 09°24' s_mo.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 00°36 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 29°09'

Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi


Italian-French sculptor who designed and built the Statue of Liberty that stands in New York harbor; he also helped to raise the funds to build the statue. Bartholdi studied architecture and painting before he went into sculpture, and was the creator of many monuments in France.

The descendant of an Italian family which had settled in France, he was raised by his mom after the death of his dad when he was two. As a young man, Bartholdi was on the streets of Paris on the December day when Louis Napoleon Bonaparte's coup d'etat toppled the Second Republic. There, he witnessed a scene which marked him deeply. A group of republicans had erected a barricade. Night was falling when a young girl, bearing a torch, leaped over the barrier crying "Forward!" Bonaparte's soldiers opened fire and the girl fell dead. From then on, the unknown girl with the torch was, for him, the symbol of liberty.

Bartholdi's love of the colossal was born on a trip to Egypt, during which, fascinated, he sketched voluminously the massive statues of the ancient empire. The idea for his own masterpiece was conceived in 1865 when he met Edouard de Laboulaye, a prominent French liberal and ardent admirer of the U.S. and its model democracy. Knowing that in 1876 America would be celebrating the centenary of its independence, Laboulaye was urging that France offer a spectacular tribute to mark the occasion. Bartholdi proposed a monument to liberty, and his imagination afire, offered his talents as the sculpture.

He met his model at a wedding, Jeanne-Emilie Baheux de Puysieux, a beautiful brunette with the figure of a goddess. He persuaded her to pose for "Liberty Lighting the World," and later, married her. The classic features of the statue, however, resemble more closely Bartholdi's mother.

In 1869, the design for the statue was completed, but his work was interrupted by military service in the Franco-Prussian War the following year. The war lost and over, he returned to his work. Bartholdi sailed for America in June 1871 to site a location. As the ship entered New York harbor in the dimness of dawn, he was inspired by the sight of Bedloe's Island jutting out into the bay. "Surely it is here that my statue should be raised," he wrote in his notes, "here where men first perceived the New World, here where liberty casts her radiance over both worlds."

After traveling throughout the U.S. for more than three months to win support for his project, Bartholdi returned to Paris, eager to work but with a lack of finances. In January 1875, Laboulaye created the Franco-American Union to raise money; the work was a gift to the United States with American's needing only to provide the pedestal. Without waiting for funds, Bartholdi eagerly began work.

Debating materials and supports, he sought the aid of engineer Gustav Eiffel, who was soon to create an immortal colossus of his own. Eiffel designed an iron under-structure in the form of a pylon on four feet embedded more than 26 feet into the pedestal. The statue's copper "skin" would be mounted onto this skeleton piece by piece. By mid-1875, the statue had begun to take shape.

In November 1875, the Franco-American Union staged a banquet in Paris in which a scale model of the statue was displayed. From then on, French purses began to open wide, but America was slow to respond.

Bartholdi traveled to the U.S. again in 1876, commissioned to attract the attention of the American public. The statue's torch-bearing arm was exhibited at the Philadelphia's Centennial Exposition and greeted with awe. The index finger alone was eight feet long and more than three feet around; a dozen people could stand in the rim of the torch. The gigantic arm caused a sensation and Americans began to realize the immensity of the gift which France offered. Previously unknown, Bartholdi became a celebrity. Congress adopted a resolution of acceptance and Bedloe's Island was agreed upon as the site. On 8/05/1884 the first block of granite was laid on Bedloe's Island and the two-year job of constructing a pedestal begun.

Back home, the gigantic figure began to rise above the rooftops of Paris. The statue's 120 tons of iron and 80 tons of copper took three months to crate when it came time to load it aboard the warship Isere. Taking the sections from Paris to Rouen required a special, 70-car freight train. The most powerful crane of the period worked for 16 days loading the precious pieces.

On 6/17/1885, Isere was escorted by American warships into New York harbor, acclaimed by the sirens of thousands of boats whose decks, like the piers, were crammed with cheering people.

During the next six months, 75 workmen, clinging like flies to the flanks of the statue, used 300,000 rivets to secure some 100 parts of the statue to the framework. The torch, at last, was put in place in mid-October. President Grover Cleveland officiated at the unveiling on 10/28/1886. The statue's head was still swathed in a huge French flag and Bartholdi was inside the head. When the applause indicated that the dedication was made, he pulled a cord and the flag waved free. Liberty showed her majestic face.

Bartholdi, an honorary citizen of New York and Commander of the Legion of Honor, died on 10/05/1904, in Paris, immortalized by the work that embodied his long-cherished vision of freedom.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Misc. : Great Insight 1865 (Conceived the idea for the Statue of Liberty)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1869 (Design revealed)
  • Social : Begin Travel June 1871 (To America to find site)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released November 1875 (Model exhibited at banquet)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Begin Travel 1876 (To U.S.)
  • Work : Begin Major Project 5 August 1884 (First of foundation strarted for statue)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Great Publicity 17 June 1885 (Statue arrived in N.Y. harbor)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Great Achievement 28 October 1886 (Pres. Cleveland unveiled Statue of Liberty)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

B.C. in hand from Steinbrecher


  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Age two when his dad died)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (One)
  • Lifestyle : Work : Travel for work (U.S. and Paris)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Fundraiser (Helped raise funds for statue)
  • Vocation : Art : Fine art artist (Sculptor)
  • Notable : Famous : Historic figure (Created, built Statue of Liberty)
  • Notable : Book Collection : American Book