Visiting La Marianne and the French Republic

La Marianne means many things to the French people. She represents healing, protection, peace, and nourishing. Sometimes she’s looked upon as a queen of France. The name’s origin was a combination of Marie and Anne. These names were carried by many queens like Anne of Austria, Marie-Antoinette, and Marie of Medicis.

The reason for using this name is said to have come from a revolutionary song probably composed in October 1792.

Various models have been used over the years to represent Marianne. However, there are always the same symbols used in creating her. These include:

A cap or bonnet for Liberty
A crown To be able to
A naked breast for Invincibility
A lion for The Courage and force of the people
A star for Light
A triangle for Equality
Crossed hands for Brotherhood
Sheaf of arms for The authority of the State
Scales for Justice
Ruche for Work
Tables of the law for Law

She has been sculpted both in bust and on foot. She also turns up on stamps and coins. Statues of Marianne are now present in all of the town halls. The models used for these statues, though, are famous women. They’re chosen for a variety of reasons such as their beauty, personalities, companionship and locality. Two famous French celebrities that have been used to sculpt La Marianne are Brigitte Bardot in 1970 and Catherine Deneuve in 1985.

In 1944 came the liberation of France. Since that time the women chosen to model for La Marianne have been unique famous actresses. However, in the year 2000, the French association of mayors selected a well-liked model. Then, in 2002, the animator of a popular television show, Evelyne Thomas, was selected as the model. At times, these choices brought about controversy.

La Marianne is really something special to see if you happen to be traveling in the country of France. You may even recognize some of the different models that have been used over the years. Various places all over the country boast statues of La Marianne, and you’ll most likely run into a few of them while touring whether you mean to or not.

Do yourself a favor and make it a point to see at least one of these statues so that you can appreciate all of the fine work and dedication that has gone into creating these beautiful country symbols.