Although we previously reported that the model for the Statue of Liberty was sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s mother, it seems that theory has been debunked. According to the French magazine L’Express, a new book by French writer Nathalie Salmon delves into the history of the iconic statue. Salmon says that the face of the Statue of Liberty was actually modeled on her ancestor Sarah Salmon, not Bartholdi’s mother. 

Sarah Salmon immigrated to the United States with her husband Adolphe, a Jew from Lorraine, in 1861. Adolphe went out west and made a fortune in California. Ten years later, he met Bartholdi, who was already famous in France. On a visit to Paris in 1875, Adolphe and Sarah visited Bartholdi at his studio. Apparently, Bartholdi was in awe of Sarah’s features and luminous eyes. Nathalie Salmon tells the whole story in her book, Lady Liberty I Love You.

See vintage photos of the Statue of Liberty under construction and check out the other Statues of Liberty in NYC and Paris.

One thought on “Daily What?! The Face of the Statue of Liberty Is Not Who You Think It Is

  1. Hi,
    I’m Nathalie Salmon, the French author who wrote the book “Lady Liberty I love you”. In fact Sarah was born in NYC in 1844. She was the daughter of German Jews who migrated in the 30′. After the death of her father, mother and sisters went to California where Sarah met her first husband at the age of 14 years. They came back to NYC in 1865 and met Adolphe Salmon, my ancestor. Adolphe was born in Lorraine and migrated to the States in 1861. As a self made man he became a great manufacturer. Adolphe and Sarah’s husband, Sam, became best friends. Few years after Sam’s death, a love story began between Sarah and Adolphe and they get married in 1876 in NYC. Since 1871 Adolphe was a friend of Bartholdi, and became his agent in USA. For example he imported the statue of Lafayette by Bartholdi in Union Square. In 1875 Adolphe and Sarah visited Bartholdi in Paris… Sarah posed as the model for the statue of Liberty! Just have a look on her face…
    Thank you for your interest. Please have a look on the website, and on Facebook: Lady Liberty I love you – le site officiel, the official website.
    Thanks and best, Nathalie

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