Marianne Mans the Barricade


Liberty Leading the People. 1830. Oil on canvas, 260 x 325 cm.

Liberty Leading the People. 1830. Oil on canvas, 260 x 325 cm.

On the way out of the Schnitzer, after viewing ‘The Last Audience’, I run smack dab into a altered painting of Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People.

There were too many black faces. We started out with JUST ONE, and, now there are several, and, they are stepping over DEAD WHITE PEOPLE!

Mind you, this is The Day of the Dead! Why didn’t this controversial work, done by a black human being, make it into the dead brochure? To answer this question, I have assembled a panel of folks, who might be interested in this work.

We have Mr. and Mrs. Fremont, George Granitsch, Susanne Granitsch, alleged smuggler of the ‘Last Audience’, Georg’s wife, Helene Granitsch and Women Liberationists of Austria. Empress Zita, Cecil Fenwich of North Carolina, and his Baptist wife Gretta, who claims the Liberal Thought Police are forcing their wicked ideals on her. They make her watch America being taken over by folks of color. Guess who she will be voting for?

When I got home, I see on the news a female law professor is in deep d00-doo for wearing black face to a Halloween party. She has been hauled off to a public pillary, and shamed! Why? A black artist puts black face on French folks! Did he, or she, deface this very famous work? I forgot to get the name of the artist. Artists shame people all the time, and get away with it. As long as you are FOR THE REVOLUTION, you will get away with it.

This painting is of great interest to the Fremonts because they were behind the Reconstruction, where radical Germans in uniform put black folks in office after the Civil War. He wanted Confederate officer tried for Treason, and – HUNG! Imagine a black Senator in Georgia walking over dead generals on his way to Washington. Without white people, black slaves would not be free today. Without followers of the Goddess Marianne, millions of white folk would not be free – today! Who is she?

Here are some more barricades radical Europeans manned, including Georg Grantisch, in 1848, when he was a member of the Academic Legion. Does this rogue painting announce the entry of black people into the New Age of Enlightnment, where the color of ones skin, is not THE BANNER WE WAVE?

The Muse of Freedom, is color blind. These crazy white folks throwing boulders at THE ENEMY, and shooting them in the face, got off ships by the tens of thousands, picked up a rifle, and headed down to Dixie! General Lee knew who he was up against. So did every Habsburg Royal. And, then came the British Invasion, the Beatles, and….The Who!

These Radicals gathered on the other side of that large Habsburg canvas, like the Oregon Duck Football Team…………AND THEY BURST UPON THE FIELD!

Let’s Rock N’ Roll!

I took part in one demonstration for People’s Park and the million person march on Washington in 1971. Has the University Museum honored the most Romantic Movement America has ever known? Where is our version of Marianne?

Jon Presco


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Although Delacroix was not the first artist to depict Liberty in Phrygian cap, his painting may be the best known early version of the figure commonly known as Marianne, a symbol of the French Republic and of France in general.[16]

The painting may have influenced Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables. In particular, the character of Gavroche is widely believed to have been inspired by the figure of the pistol-wielding boy running over the barricade.[17][18] The novel describes the events of the June Rebellion two years after the revolution celebrated in the painting, the same rebellion that led to its being removed from public view.

The Academic Legion (GermanAkademische Legion) was a military organization formed by university students in Vienna during the Revolutions of 1848. It played a key role in toppling the government of Clemens Metternich and precipitating his retirement on 13 March 1848.[1] The Legion dissolved in October 1848 when the Vienna Uprising was crushed.

The Legion, formed in 1848, was composed of about 6,000 university students. Although students were well represented in the revolutionary vanguard of most cities affected by the revolution during this time, nowhere had the university students played so important and prominent a part in the revolutionary movement as in Vienna. The students exercised a preponderant influence in the “central committee,” the administrative body of the revolutionaries, which consisted of an equal number of students and members of the citizens’ militia. Deputations of citizens and peasants came from all parts of Austria to present their grievances and petitions to the “Aula”, the headquarters of the students, which had suddenly risen as an authority omnipotent in the opinion of the multitude.[2]

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By the time Delacroix painted Liberty Leading the People, he was already the acknowledged leader of the Romantic school in French painting.[2] Delacroix, who was born as the Age of Enlightenment was giving way to the ideas and style of romanticism, rejected the emphasis on precise drawing that characterised the academic artof his time, and instead gave a new prominence to freely brushed colour.

Delacroix painted his work in the autumn of 1830. In a letter to his brother dated 21 October, he wrote: “My bad mood is vanishing thanks to hard work. I’ve embarked on a modern subject—a barricade. And if I haven’t fought for my country at least I’ll paint for her.” The painting was first exhibited at the official Salon of 1831.


Delacroix depicted Liberty as both an allegorical goddess-figure and a robust woman of the people. The mound of corpses acts as a kind of pedestal from which Liberty strides, barefoot and bare-breasted, out of the canvas and into the space of the viewer. The Phrygian cap she wears had come to symbolize liberty during the first French Revolution, of 1789–94. The painting has been seen as a marker to the end of the Age of Enlightenment, as many scholars see the end of the French Revolution as the start of the romantic era.[3]

The fighters are from a mixture of social classes, ranging from the bourgeoisie represented by the young man in a top hat, a student from the prestigious École Polytechnique wearing the traditional bicorne, to the revolutionary urban worker, as exemplified by the boy holding pistols. What they have in common is the fierceness and determination in their eyes. Aside from the flag held by Liberty, a second, minute tricolore can be discerned in the distance flying from the towers of Notre Dame.[4]

Georg Granitsch ( 1. February 1833 Vienna [1]18th September 1903 Hadersdorf-Weidlingau [1] [2] ) was an Austrian lawyer and politician of German nationality , in the second half of the 19th century member of the Imperial Council .

Biographies [ edit | edit source ]

He served as a court and court lawyer in Vienna. During the revolutionary year 1848 he worked in student legion. He studied law at Vienna University , where he earned a Doctor of Laws . Then he worked as a clerk and later as an attorney. He was publicly and politically active. Since 1861, he has collaborated with various periodicals. In the years 1867-1869 he was a member of the Vienna municipal council. Contributed to the emergence of regional mortgage banks and credit unions organizing network (ie. Raiffeisenek). [1]

Long-term sit as a member of Lower Austria Landtag , which he joined in 1868 and remained a member of parliament until 1896, while in 1886 he represented the Curia rural communities, the circuit Mistelbach, then urban curia circuit Klosterneuburg. In the years 1883-1887 he was an alternate member of the land committee , and from 1887 to 1896 full member of the Provincial Committee. [1]

He was also a member of the Imperial Council (of national parliament Cisleithanian ), which he joined in the first direct elections in 1873 for the curia of rural communities in Lower Austria , the circuit Mistelbach, Feldsberg, Groß-Enzersdorf etc. The mandate here vindicated in elections in 1879 . [3] In 1873 is referred to as Dr. Georg Granitsch, lawyer, residing in Vienna . [4]

In 1873, parliament played for block German ústavověrných liberals (ie. , The Constitutional Party , the centralist and provídeňsky oriented), under which featured Altdeutscher wing. [5] In 1878 he met the German parliamentary group of the Left. [6] As ústavověrný member of the states even after the elections in 1879. [7] in October 1879 at the Imperial Council was mentioned as staroněmeckého Club Liberals (Club der Liberalen). [8]

He died in September 1903. At that time, it is referred to as the oldest lawyer in Vienna. [2]

On October 31, 2016, longtime University of Oregon law professor Nancy Shurtz attended an off-campus Halloween party in costume as Damon Tweedy, a black physician and author of the 2016 book Black Man in a White Coast: A Doctor’s Reflection on Race and Medicine. Her intent was to encourage discussion about racism in the medical profession.  Professor Shurtz is white.  Outrage, of course, ensued.

It is the official policy of the University of Oregon that:

“Free inquiry and free speech are the cornerstones of an academic institution committed to the creation and transfer of knowledge. Expression of diverse points of view is of the highest importance, not solely for those who present and defend some view but for those who would hear, disagree, and pass judgment on those views. The belief that an opinion is pernicious, false, and in any other way despicable, detestable, offensive or “just plain wrong” cannot be grounds for its suppression.”

Wearing a costume is protected speech.  While we regret the fact that Professor Shurtz’s costume may have caused offense to some, we unequivocally support her right to engage in that speech on an important subject without retribution.”


“The Great Republican Reform Party Calling on their Candidate”, an 1856 print which is a political cartoon about John C. Frémont, the first Republican party candidate for president of the United States. In the 1840’s and 1850’s, radical social reform movements (such as slavery abolitionism, alcohol prohibitionism, pacifism, socialism, and after 1848, feminism) and/or what were considered eccentric currents of thought (such as Transcendentalism, Mormonism, Oneida, “spirit-rappers” or Spiritualism, etc.) were sometimes stigmatized by being lumped together as “the Isms”. Southerners often prided themselves on the American South being free from all of the pernicious Isms (except for alcohol temperance campaigning, which was fully compatible with traditional Protestant fundamentalism).

The identity of the man in the top hat has been widely debated. The suggestion that it was a self-portrait by Delacroix has been discounted by modern art historians.[5]In the late 19th century, it was suggested the model was the theatre director Étienne Arago; others have suggested the future curator of the Louvre, Frédéric Villot;[6]but there is no firm consensus on this point.

Purchase and exhibition[edit]

The French government bought the painting in 1831 for 3,000 francs with the intention of displaying it in the throne room of the Palais du Luxembourg as a reminder to the “citizen-king” Louis-Philippe of the July Revolution, through which he had come to power. This plan did not come to fruition and the canvas hung in the palace’s museum gallery for a few months, before being removed due to its inflammatory political message. After the June Rebellion of 1832, it was returned to the artist. According to Albert Boime,

Champfleury wrote in August 1848 that it had been “hidden in an attic for being too revolutionary.” Although Louis-Philippe’s Ministry of the Interior initially acquired it as a gesture to the Left, after the uprising at the funeral of Lamarque in June 1832 it was never again openly displayed for fear of setting a bad example.[7]

Delacroix was permitted to send the painting to his aunt Félicité for safekeeping. It was exhibited briefly in 1848, after the Republic was restored in the revolution of that year, and then in the Salon of 1855. In 1874, the painting entered the collection of Palais du Louvre in Paris.

In 1974–75, the work was the featured work in an exhibit organized by the French government, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Detroit Institute of Arts as a Bicentennial gift to the people of the United States. The exhibit, entitled French Painting 1774–1830: The Age of Revolution, marked a rare display of the Delacroix painting, and many of the other 148 works, outside France.[8] The exhibit was first shown at the Grand Palais from 16 November 1974 to 3 February 1975. It moved to Detroit from 5 March to 4 May 1975, then New York from 12 June to 7 September 1975.[9]

In 1999, it was flown on board an Airbus Beluga from Paris to Tokyo via Bahrain and Calcutta in about 20 hours. The large canvas, measuring 2.99 metres (9.8 feet) high by 3.62 metres (11.9 feet) long, was too large to fit into a Boeing 747. It was transported in the vertical position inside a special pressurised container provided with isothermal protection and an anti-vibration device.[10]

In 2012, it was moved to the new Louvre-Lens museum in Lens, Pas-de-Calais, as the starring work in the first tranche of paintings from the Louvre’s collection to be installed.[11] On 7 February 2013, the painting was vandalized by a visitor in Lens. An unidentified 28-year-old woman allegedly wrote an inscription (“AE911”) on the painting.[12][13] The young woman was immediately arrested by a security guard and a visitor. A short time after the incident, the management of the Louvre and its Pas-de-Calais branch published a press release indicating that “at first glance, the inscription is superficial and should be easily removed”.[14][15] Louvre officials announced the next day that the writing had been removed in less than two hours by a restorer without damaging the original paint, and the piece returned to display that morning.[13]


Freedom for France, freedom for the French(1940), a poster depicting Marianne

An interpretation of Liberty Leading the People on the separation barrier which runs through Bethlehem

Although Delacroix was not the first artist to depict Liberty in Phrygian cap, his painting may be the best known early version of the figure commonly known as Marianne, a symbol of the French Republic and of France in general.[16]

The painting may have influenced Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables. In particular, the character of Gavroche is widely believed to have been inspired by the figure of the pistol-wielding boy running over the barricade.[17][18] The novel describes the events of the June Rebellion two years after the revolution celebrated in the painting, the same rebellion that led to its being removed from public view.

The painting inspired Bartholdi‘s Statue of Liberty in New York City,[19] which was given to the United States as a gift from the French a half-century after Liberty Leading the People was painted. The statue, which holds a torch in its hand, takes a more stable, immovable stance than that of the woman in the painting. An engraved version of part of the painting, along with a depiction of Delacroix, was featured on the 100 franc note from 1978 to 1995.

The painting has had an influence on classical music. George Antheil titled his Symphony No. 6 After Delacroix, and stated that the work was inspired by Liberty Leading the People.[20] The imagery was adapted by Robert Ballagh to commemorate Ireland’s independence struggle on an Irish postage stamp in 1979, the centenary of the birth of Pádraig Pearse,[21] and the painting was used for the band Coldplay‘s album cover Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, with the words Viva La Vida written in white.[22] The cover of the book Enough is Enough: How to Build a New Republic by Fintan O’Toole references the painting but with Kathleen ni Houlihan holding the Irish tricolour in Dublin while the leaders of the three main political parties at the time (Brian Cowen, Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore) lie on the ground.[23]


About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Marianne Mans the Barricade

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    I am The Enlightened One!


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