THATKid Tuesday: French Flag & Marianne!

THATKid Tuesday is a monthly dose of Art History for kids, running the 1st Tuesday of each month. In this series we’ll be blogging about different terms from the THATKid glossary we’ve created to help kids understand some of the art history terms that pop up in our hunts.

The subject of this post is: TRICOLOR FRENCH FLAG & MARIANNE! 

The Tricolor Flag
In the French flag, the three colors of red, white and blue symbolize what the French Republic stands for: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity (brotherhood).

The Tricolor Flag, as it is called, first came into use in France in 1790. Only the colors were reversed, so the red was the leftmost color. It was derived from the French cockades that came into fashion during the French Revolution, which were circular badges that were attached to the hat. It was not used during the Bourbon restoration, when the monarchy was restored, but once this period ended, the Tricolor resumed its state as the flag of France, and has remained so ever since.

Delacroix’s famous painting Liberty Leading the People

The lady who represents the French Republic and its triumph over the monarchy (as seen on French stamps, currency and at all town-halls or within any governmental buildings). Probably the two most famous Mariannes are Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People (painting) and the bronze sculpture overlooking Place de la Republique (where the 3rd and 10th Arrt meet).

A goddess of liberty, Marianne has represented the French Republic since its roots. Her first major appearance was on a medal in 1789, celebrating the storming of the Bastille. Her popularity has increased and decreased throughout the years, as she embodied the ideals of the French Republic. In particular, during the Vichy government (the puppet government of France during World War 2) 120 of the 427 monuments of Marianne were melted. How she has been portrayed has evolved throughout the years, sometimes fiercer, sometimes not, but like the Tricolor, she persists to this very day.

Any questions about Marianne? Please leave any comments or queries below!

The idea for THATKid Tuesday stemmed from the Kid Pack’s glossary. The Kid Pack has supplemental exercises for after your Louvre hunt, from a Michelangelo Connect-the-Dots and a Mona Lisa sticker-puzzle to a Botticelli Spot-the-Difference. Good for train rides or long French dinners, kids can also pick up on some terms like composition, perspective and the lot. As THATMuse has grown to include the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert and Musée d’Orsay, THATKid Tuesday’s blog version has grown to include other examples.  

Tune in the first Tuesday of the month if you’d like another art history dose of THATKid.

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