Marie Tussaud: The Irreplaceable Wax Sculptor

I couldn’t have left London without paying a visit to the renowned Madame Tussauds Wax Museum that has taken the world by swarm by its life-size replicas of celebrated icons and celebrities. It’s an excellent display of themed galleries although, little is advertised, about its founder Marie Tussauds, an unrivalled wax sculptor of her time. This wax museum depicts the legacy of Marie Tussaud and her artistic journey. In 1761, Anna Maria (Marie) was born to a German veteran Joseph Grosholtz in Strasbourg, France. Joseph, however, was martyred two months before her birth. Marie spent her early life in Switzerland and then in France. Her mother Anne-Marie Walder took her to Bern in Switzerland while she was six. Later, in Paris, Marie first discovered the passion for the art of wax modelling.

Marie-Tussaud

As it turns out, Marie was employed, as a housekeeper by Dr Philippe Curtius, who was a physician by profession and a wax modeller by passion. As Marie worked for Dr Curtius, she too developed a keen interest in the art of wax modelling. Her first wax figure was that of Jean Jacques Rousseau in 1778. Following which, Marie acclimated to the art of the waxed death masks. She soon became famous and was appointed as the art tutor to King Louis XVI’s sisters in 1780. This led to her getting invited to live at the magnificent palace of Versailles. Marie continued to keep inspiring many in line.

In 1794, Curtius died and left behind his entire wax collection to Marie. In 1795, Marie Grosholtz married François Tussauds, a civil engineer from London, and had three children. In 1835, Marie Tussauds opened her first permanent exhibition on Baker Street, in London. Not later, Tussauds was arrested and engaged to follow the rising graves and create death masks. Even though it wasn’t a pleasant phase of Marie’s professional life, it helped her survive the German domination. In 1842, Tussauds built a wax replica of herself, presently on display at the Wax Museum. Tussauds died at the age of 88 on 16th April 1850. In 1940, Madam Tussauds of London was bombed by Germans, destroying nearly 350 head moulds. 

The smallest wax-figure created by Marie Tussauds is that of Tinker Bell. As the wax shrinks a teeny-bit with time, figures are made 2% larger than its original size. It takes about 150 measurements, for a sculptor to build an all-embracing wax replica of a person. In recent times, the United States has six Tussauds Museums, in New York City, Washington D.C, Las Vegas, Los-Angeles and Orlando. Europe has them in Blackpool, Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna and Prague. Sydney has one, and Asia has around eight in Singapore, HongKong, Bangkok, India, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, and Wuhan.

To visit this fascinating museum that houses wax sculptures of Royal family, Kardashians, many notable actors actresses and even India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It’s a little bit of everything (Hollywood, Bollywood and Politics) under one roof. Each wax statue mirrors both the celebrity’s personality as well as the artist’s perception. If you are planning to visit this marvellous wax museum anytime soon, I’d suggest you make an online booking to avail some great deals. Also, helps ditch massive crowds at the venue. While here, beware of theft as many pickpocketers arrive at this venue only to steal. Otherwise, it’s a great museum that can be toured, within three hours.

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