Auguste Bartholdi

What’s the biggest gap between the fame of a sculpture and the obscurity of its creator? I can’t think that anything beats this man’s most famed work: the Statue of Liberty. (He created the original, and Gustave Eiffel, of tower fame, was responsible for its construction on the giant scale for New York.) I checked with a number of very knowledgeable friends this weekend, and not one of them knew his name.

That monument isn’t a particularly interesting piece of art, for me, but something else by him really grabbed my attention. There is a gravestone by him from the 1870s, as far as I can gather, for two soldiers. It’s two slabs of stone, one forced slightly askew by a stone arm coming up from beneath it and grasping at a sword. The message seems to be revenge, but I’ve not been able to find out the story of their deaths – and I also can’t find the image on the web anywhere. A link to this would be greatly appreciated, as would more information on the soldiers. It impressed me hugely: I think it’s an astonishing image for the 19th Century, a really daring and shocking work, and I’ve not seen anything else like it.