Do Sherlock Holmes & Las Vegas have anything in common?
And what about V. Putin & The French Revolution?
And what are the parallels between the Cabinet of Horrors & Princess Diana?
You are right. You can see them all in one place thanks to this woman. Yeah, its Madam Tussauds, the founder of the famous wax figures Museum in London. Here are some interesting facts about her life & her famous collection.
The full name of madam Tussauds is Anna Marie Tussauds. She was born in 1761 in the family of an Alsace officer & a Swiss in Strasbourg. Her mother went to Bern after her husbands death in the Seven Years War & began working as a housekeeper at Dr. Phillip Wilhelm Kurtius, who was keen on making wax figures & portraits during his free time.
One day little Marie entered Phillips workshop & the master saw a really great interest in the eyes of young Tussauds. Since that day he began teaching Marie the art of wax. Dr. Phillip was happy to have such a talented pupil & assistant.
In 1765 Kurtius moved to Paris & founded his workshop. But the star hour of the Dr. & his assistant was not long – the revolution began. Marie was arrested as one of the representatives of the old regime & was sentenced to death. But again her talent of a sculptor saved her life!
In 1794 Marie became the owner of his workshop & his collection. She proved to be a brilliant manager too, because her collection became more & more successfull in spite of any events in her life. She had to leave for the UK & couldnt return to France because of Napolean wars. But may be it was a luck, because it were the British Isles, where she had an idea of founding a museum.
In 1835 she organized her first permanent exhibition in famous Baker Street. That was the beginning of her museum.
The Cabinet of Horrors was located in the central part of the museum & exhibited wax figures of the French Revolution victims, killers & criminals of the century. It is still very popular. One should pay 100 pounds to spend a night in the Cabinet. They say that horror in the company of killers & criminals treats from alcohol & passion games.
For Tussauds contemporaries her wax figures were a great sourse of information, that gave people a chance to see famous people in details & colours. The idea of standing next to a real king or a maniac was very attractive. Wax Hitler had been beaten for several times by overemotional visitors since 1933.
At the age of 81 Madam Tussauds made her own portrait which meets visitors at the entrance of the museum. On this portrait she is not young, but wise & honoured. On the 15 th of April 1850 Anna Marie Tussauds died in London.
Even today, the century of video & computer, wax figures attract people. You can touch most of the models, be taken pictures with them. They can move & even talk. They are an international brend, represented with museums on the 4 continents & 14 countries. But the main is surely The London Museum in Marylebone Road.