The Statue of Liberty is a giant sculpture smack in the middle of Liberty Island in New York. This is truly a symbol of the United States. If you are a fan, you might even get a Statue of Liberty tattoo that would represent this great country.
There are other people who get the tattoo to represent the USA and others who use the tattoo as a start for something else creative. This might be something like the Statue of Liberty holding a gun or giving the middle finger.
The nice thing about getting a tattoo is that you can use an image or idea and run with it any way you’d like. The Statue of Liberty was raised for certain reasons but nobody can tell you what it means to you. In this article, we will talk about the history of the Statue of Liberty and how the giant symbol came to be. We also want to talk about the different variations of this tattoo we have seen and the possible meaning behind it.
History of the Statue of Liberty
This statue made of copper was a gift to the people of the US from the French. The Statue of Liberty was designed by a man named Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. However, Gustave Eiffel put the statue together and on October 28, 1886, it was dedicated.
If you’ve never seen it I would be shocked but for those that haven’t, the Statue of Liberty is a figure of a woman wearing robes. She represents Libertas who is a liberty goddess of Rome. In her right hand she is holding a torch high in the sky and her left hand is carrying a tabula ansata which has “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” inscribed on it.
This stands for July 4, 1776, which is when the Declaration of Independence was created. At her feet, a chain is broken. This represents the freedom of coming to the United States.
So, in the building process, the Americans agreed to build the pedestal for the statue and the French were going to create the statue. At the time, however, both countries were trying to raise funds for the project. In the meantime, Richard Morris Hunt oversaw the design of the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty.
He did so in 1884 and when he was done, he donated his fee to help fund this statue. After funding, the pedestal was completed in April of 1886. France had finished the statue in July of 1884. The statue was sent to New York Harbor via the “Isere”, which was a French frigate.
It’s pretty amazing the French shipped the Statue of Liberty to the States in 350 individual pieces and created in 214 different boxes. It took 4 months to reassemble the statue which happened to draw a big group of people trying to catch a glimpse of a historic moment. In that group of fans was President Grover Cleveland who oversaw the dedication ceremony.
When Laboulaye and Barholdi were considering how to best express the idea of liberty in the United States. They were reminded of two women who were cultural symbols at the time. One of these images was Personified Columbia.
This was the image of a woman draped in a United States flag gown and has outstretched arms. This image represents the pursuit of liberty and freedom. The other female image being considered was the representation of Liberty. This was the goddess of freedom and the final choice to model their statue after.
So, as you could guess, there was a great deal of thought when coming up with the image for this statue. Bartholdi and Laboulaye wanted to avoid an image representing revolution. There is a painting in France called Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix where Liberty, partially clothed, was leading revolutionaries over the bodies of the deceased.
Laboulaye was not a fan of revolution so they made sure the representation of liberty for the United States would be fully clothed. They wanted to give the statue a peaceful look and hold a torch for progress instead of the violent images of revolution.
Styles of Statue of Liberty Tattoo
The creators of the Statue of Liberty had certain values in mind when the created the gigantic statue. This doesn’t mean the tattoo enthusiast choosing to get this tattoo has the same values. When looking through pictures of the Statue of Liberty tattoos, we tend to see a lot of variation of this classic image.
For most, this image represents freedom and a chance to start a new life. The pursuit of happiness, if you will. However, not everyone gets the same feelings when seeing this statue. People also see this image as somewhat of a canvas for their tattoo ideas. The cool thing is, you can get whatever you want tattooed on your body. Below we wanted to share a few versions of the Statue of Liberty tattoo.
We’ve seen many variations of the Statue of Liberty tattoo holding some sort of weapon. The person getting this tattoo might be using this tattoo to protest the US government. They might also be referring to the way the United States took its independence.
We’ve also seen the Statue of Liberty being in the background of a tattoo. Sometimes people want to have the theme of America in their tattoo by adding the Statue of Liberty or other American symbols like the Bald Eagle or Uncle Sam. Whatever the image in the forefront might be, there is no confusion about the symbols behind it as to the message being portrayed.
We have also seen the Statue of Liberty tattoo with her hands covering her face. This image portrays Lady Liberty as not wanting to watch what is going on.
Whether you agree with these portrayals of the United States’ symbol of freedom or not, it is always going to be up to the person getting the tattoo.
If you are thinking of getting a Statue of Liberty tattoo or something like it, let us know and we can help. We have years of experience in matching up customers to tattoo artists. Please reach out if you have any questions.