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The Art of JAMA
July 2, 2014

The Statue of Liberty in Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi’s Studio, ParisPaul-Joseph-Victor Dargaud

JAMA. 2014;312(1):8-9. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.279587

The Statue of Liberty in Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi’s Studio, Paris, by the French artist Paul-Joseph-Victor Dargaud (1850-1921), displays a full-sized plaster model of the left arm of the sculpture Liberty Enlightening the World—more familiar to Americans as the Statue of Liberty. In the painting, spectators visit the cavernous workshop of the Gayet-Gauthier Foundry in Paris to examine Liberty’s arm, perhaps for a small fee, since its creator, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, seemed perpetually to be raising money for the costs of construction. The bare floor of the workshop reflects natural light from the windows, illuminating the undersurface of the arm. The predominant colors of the painting are white and blue with fine touches of red in the dresses of two little girls, corresponding to the blue, white, and red bands of the French flag. The spectators add a sense of scale, although their formal attire seems out of place in the dusty foundry.

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