Presentation Drawing of “The Statue of Liberty Illuminating the World"

Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi French

Not on view

This large-scale presentation drawing, entitled ‘The Statue of Liberty Illuminating the World‘, presents a nocturnal aerial view of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island with New Jersey, Manhattan and Brooklyn visible in the background. Drawn in great detail by Bartholdi himself, this monumental sheet played an important role in the fundraising campaign that was initiated in the United States to raise funds for the base upon which the statue would be placed. While the copper statue was a gift from the people of France, its pedestal was to be paid for and made by the American people. Alongside three-dimensional models, this drawing and various workshop copies after it, circulated throughout the country to give people an impression of, and foster enthusiasm for the installation of the monument. The design for the base went through various stages. Initially its shape was that of a pyramid (design preserved in a drawing in Musée Bartholdi, Colmar), which then evolved into the hexagonally-shaped structure, represented in this drawing. The final design, which simplified the shape of the base into a square, was made by the American architect Richard Morris Hunt, who was also contracted in 1881 to execute it after the successful completion of the fundraising campaign.

Presentation Drawing of “The Statue of Liberty Illuminating the World", Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi (French, Colmar 1834–1904 Paris), Charcoal, heightened with white chalk

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After conservation treatment 2020