Marie Gresholtz, who was born in 1761 was a maker of wax death masks, had modelled the author and philosopher Voltaire in 1777, and became an art tutor to King Louis XVI’s sister in 1780. She lived at this time with the French court at Versailles, but returned to Paris in 1789.Marie was imprisoned after the French revolution of 1787, in LaForce prison with nobles and other people associated with the government. Here she shared a cell with the future Empress Josephine (Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife) . A year after her release in 1794, Marie married Frances Tussaud.
The wax masks of her collection of guillotined aristocrats and artefacts of the French revolution were taken on a Europe tour specially Britain in 1802. Later in 1835, she established a base for the collection at the Baker Street bazaar in London. Madame Tussaud died in 1850. She was 88.
The exhibition was moved to Marylebone Road in 1884 by her grandsons. It was damaged by fire widely, and rebuilt in the 1920s, and today it features models of film stars, sports personalities, musicians and statesmen from around the world and even the Royal Family which is the must sight seen included in Europe tour packages.
Few of Madame Tussauds’ original work and earliest remnants are still on display in London which you can visit during your Europe tour, including the death masks she was forced to make during the French Revolution.
Madame Tussauds adds the figures regularly that reflect contemporary public opinion and celebrity popularity – Bollywood stars like Salman Khan; Hollywood sirens such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie; pop idols Timberlake and Minogue.
The museum continues to expand globally with established international branches in New York, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Berlin, Las Vegas and Washington – all with the same rich mix of interaction, authenticity and local appeal.
Today, the museum is bigger and better than ever, combining its varied history with the relentless glamour, intrigue and infamy of 21st century celebrity. Surely visit this amazing museum if planning for Europe tour from India.