Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Kelly Drive at 25th Street, Kelly Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA

The work was unveiled near the eastern approach to the Girard Avenue Bridge in 1890 and relocated to a site near the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1948 Amid the ruins of the Franco-Prussian War, the French government commissioned Emmanuel Frémiet in 1872 to design a monument to Joan of Arc for the Place des Pyramides in Paris. Frémiet had earned a reputation for his work incorporating human and animal motifs in the neo-realistic manner. To develop the memorial to the French heroine, Frémiet studied the design of fifteenth-century French armor and dress in order to convey the figure within her historical context. In 1889 members of the French community in Philadelphia sought the aid of the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) to commemorate their centennial by purchasing a statue of Joan of Arc from Frémiet. Frémiet submitted an “improved” model of his monument, though Thomas Hockley of the Association observed little change in it, save for the “figure, which is heightened about 4 or 5 inches.” The contract with the sculptor stipulated that there would be only three editions of the statue: the one in the Place des Pyramides, one in Philadelphia, and one in Nancy. A site was selected on the eastern approach to the Girard Avenue Bridge, and on November 15, 1890, the work was unveiled in Philadelphia with extensive fanfare. In 1948 the Association relocated the sculpture to its present site near the Philadelphia Museum of Art and gilded it in 1960.

Actor: Ingrid Raison
Written by: Marc Acito
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