Marie Tussaud

1 portrait

Marie Tussaud, attributed to Francis Tussaud, circa 1842 - NPG 2031 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Marie Tussaud

attributed to Francis Tussaud
chalk, circa 1842
15 in. x 11 in. (381 mm x 279 mm)
Given by the sitter's great-grandson, John Theodore Tussaud, 1924
Primary Collection
NPG 2031

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  • Marie Tussaud (1760-1850), Modeller in wax. Sitter in 1 portrait.

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Born in Strasbourg, France, Marie Grosholtz was brought up in Switzerland and Paris. Her widowed mother was the housekeeper to Philippe Curtius, a German-born doctor and talented modeller in wax, who in 1770 opened an exhibition of life-size figures in Paris. Marie Grosholtz studied under Dr Curtius and in 1794 she inherited the wax exhibition from him. A year later she married the civil engineer Francois Tussaud. She later left her husband and, with her two young sons, moved to England where she toured her wax exhibition for thirty-three years. Madame Tussaud eventually decided to give the exhibition a permanent home in London where it still thrives. This chalk portrait of her was drawn by her younger son Francis who, with his brother Joseph, inherited the wax museum on the death of their mother in 1850.

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