Madame Tussauds is famous all over the world. Currently, its collection includes more than a thousand wax figures, and the museum branches operate in 19 different cities around the world. At the same time, for many it is a mystery - who is Madame Tussauds, whose name is the legendary museum?
Maria Tussaud (nee Grossholz) was born in 1761 in the city of Strasbourg. Her father, officer Josef Grossholz, died during the Seven Years' War a few months before the birth of his daughter. The girl's mother soon married a second time. This time for Dr. Philip Curtius, the owner of a workshop for the production of wax anatomical figures.
From an early age, Maria showed an interest in drawing and willingly helped her stepfather with his wax figures. In 1765, the family moved from Strasbourg to Paris, where Philippe Curtius received orders for several wax figures of members of the royal court. After a short time, Curtius's workshop became so popular in the capital of France that many wealthy Parisians were willing to pay huge sums to make their wax counterpart.
During the French Revolution, most of the wax figures were destroyed by the Jacobins, and the girl ended up in the Bastille. True, the revolutionaries were also not opposed to immortalizing themselves in wax, therefore, Maria was released and she was given new orders - sculptures of prominent figures of the revolution. In 1794, Philip Curtius died, and Maria became the only owner of the workshop.
The following year, she married the engineer François Tussaud. The marriage turned out to be fragile, the couple divorced, but the name of the engineer, thanks to Maria, became known all over the world. Maria and François had two sons, with the eldest of them, the woman, after a divorce, left for London. Her traveling exhibition of wax figures was very popular with the British, and in 1835 this unique collection was permanently registered on Baker Street. After 19 years, the museum moved to Marylebone Road, where it is located to this day.
In 1925, a fire broke out in the museum building, many figures (they are made of wax!) Were destroyed or seriously damaged. Most of the exhibits were restored, since Maria Tussaud kept all the templates.
It is interesting that in 1842 Madame Tussauds made her own wax copy, which took pride of place in the museum. In 1850, Maria Grossholz-Tussauds died in London. At that time she was 89 years old.
But Madame Tussauds continued its work. Work on making new figures continues in the 21st century. The exhibits amaze visitors with their realism; it is difficult to distinguish a figure from a living person.
On average, it takes three to four months to make a figure. There are no trifles here - sculptors carefully work on every, even the smallest, detail to give the maximum similarity.
Madame Tussauds London is one of the city's main attractions. By the way, even during the life of the founder of the museum, American businessman Taylor Barnum tried to buy it out. The hostess flatly refused. As time has shown, not in vain. Until now, the museum has been making a good profit for the descendants of Madame Tussauds.