32 Facts About Marianne


Marianne has been the national personification of the French Republic since the French Revolution, as a personification of liberty, equality, fraternity and reason, as well as a portrayal of the Goddess of Liberty.

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Marianne is displayed in many places in France and holds a place of honour in town halls and law courts.

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Marianne's is depicted in the Triumph of the Republic, a bronze sculpture overlooking the Place de la Nation in Paris, as well as represented with another Parisian statue on the Place de la Republique.

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Marianne's was featured on the former franc currency and is officially used on most government documents.

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Marianne is a significant republican symbol; her French monarchist equivalent is often Joan of Arc.

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Marianne wore a Cockade and a red Phrygian cap symbolising Liberty.

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Imagery of Marianne chosen as the seal of the First French Republic depicted her standing, young and determined.

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Marianne is shown leaning on a fasces, a symbol of authority.

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Symbol of Marianne continued to evolve in response to the needs of the State long after the Directory was dissolved in 1799 following the coup spearheaded by Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes and Napoleon Bonaparte.

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Whereas Mercury and Minerva and other symbolic figures diminished in prominence over the course of French history, Marianne endured because of her abstraction and impersonality.

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Marianne made her first appearance on a French postage stamp in 1849.

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Much of the popularity of Marianne was due to the fact that she symbolized French republicanism while at the same time being neutral enough to make her into a symbol that appealed to most people.

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Marianne's femininity made her appear less threatening as a symbol of the republic than a male figure would have been.

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Hotel de Ville in Paris displayed a statue of "Marianne" wearing a Phrygian cap in 1880, and was quickly followed by the other French cities.

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Dalou's Marianne had the lictor's fasces, the Phrygian cap, a bare breast, and was accompanied by a Blacksmith representing Work, and allegories of Freedom, Justice, Education and Peace: all that the Republic was supposed to bring to its citizens.

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Marianne had been reappropriated by the workers, but as the representative of the Social and Democratic Republic .

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American historian Michael Nolan wrote in the "hyper-masculine world of Wilhelmine Germany" with its exaltation of militarism and masculine power, the very fact that Marianne was the symbol of the republic was used to argue that French men were effeminate and weak.

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In French cartoons and posters, it was Marianne who took on Wilhelm II, whose bombastic pomposity lent itself well for ridicule, and she almost never took on Deutscher Michel, leading Nolan to comment that French cartoonists missed a great chance for satire since even in Germany itself, Deutscher Michel is portrayed as rather "dim-witted".

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Marianne differed from Uncle Sam, John Bull, and Deutscher Michel in that Marianne was not just a symbol of France, but of the republic as well.

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For those on the French right, who still hankered for the House of Bourbon like Action Francaise, Marianne was always rejected for her republican associations, and the preferred symbol of France was Joan of Arc.

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In World War I, in German propaganda, Marianne was always depicted as dominating Russia, represented variously as a bear, a thuggish-looking Cossack or by the Emperor Nicholas II, with Marianne being drawn as an angry and emasculating wife.

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Under Vichy, Marianne was banned and Joan of Arc became the official symbol of France.

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Marianne's presence became less important after World War II, although General Charles de Gaulle made a large use of it, in particular on stamps or for the referendums.

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The American opera singer Jessye Norman took Marianne's place, singing La Marseillaise as part of an elaborate pageant orchestrated by avant-garde designer Jean-Paul Goude.

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Name of Marianne appears to be connected with several republican secret societies.

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Marianne's was followed by Mireille Mathieu, Catherine Deneuve, Ines de La Fressange, Laetitia Casta and Evelyne Thomas .

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In July 2013, a new stamp featuring the Marianne was debuted by President Francois Hollande, allegedly designed by the team of Olivier Ciappa and David Kawena.

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Yagg later reported on a response to their posting from Ciappa where he said that he was not in editorial control of the Huffington Post piece and did not intend to have the phrasing be "My Marianne" as accused by Kawena in his suit; Yagg later contacted Huffington Post who informed them that they sent a draft for Ciappa to look at prior to publishing, which is the current version of the article.

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Marianne has featured prominently in the Islamic scarf controversy in France as a symbol of a certain idea of Frenchness and femininity.

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The American historian Joan Wallach Scott wrote in 2016 that it is no accident that Marianne is often depicted as bare-breasted regardless of where she is or what she is doing, as this reflects the French ideal of a woman, which has been used as an argument for why Islamic dress for women is not French.

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Marianne is one of the elements of the official emblem of the 2024 Summer Olympics and the 2024 Summer Paralympics in Paris, combined with the gold medal and the Olympic and Paralympic flame, which is the first time in history with the same emblem.

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Bust of Marianne, displayed in the corridors of the Luxembourg Palace, seat of the French Senate.

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