The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus, 1883
Lazarus was the fourth of seven children of Moses Lazarus and Esther Nathan, Sephardic Jews whose families, originally from Portugal, had been settled in New York since the colonial period.<<<
She is an important forerunner of the Zionist movement. She argued for the creation of a Jewish homeland thirteen years before Theodor Herzl began to use the term Zionism.<<<
1. Sing, O barren, you who did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who did not labor with child; for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, says the Lord:
2. Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations; spare not, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes:
3. For you shall break forth on the right hand and on the left; and your seed shall possess nations, and make desolate cities to be inhabited:
11. O you afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with fair colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires:
12. And I will make your windows of rubies, and your gates of beryl, and all your borders of precious stones:
22. And God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her, and opened her womb:
23. And she conceived, and bore a son; and said, God has taken away my reproach:
24. And she called his name Joseph; and said, The Lord shall add to me another son:
Bartholdi's early models were all similar in concept: a female figure in neoclassical style representing liberty, wearing a stola and pella (gown and cloak, common in depictions of Roman goddesses) and holding a torch aloft. The face was modeled after that of Charlotte Beysser Bartholdi, the sculptor's mother.
No, the model was not his mother. The model was a well-known English-French beauty, Eugenie Summers, who married the inventor of the sewing machine, Isaac Singer.
Correction to my previous post: the model for the statue was named Isabella Eugenie Boyer Summers - here is information from the NY Times:
In fact, Bartholdi’s model was the beautiful Frenchwoman Isabelle Boyer, who was first married to the American industrialist Isaac Merritt Singer (of sewing machine fame), and later to the Duke of Campo Selice of Luxembourg. In 1878, the 36-year-old Duchess de Campo Selice attracted the attention of the sculptor who forever immortalized her features in the face of Lady Liberty.
In “The Food of Love” (London, 1978), a biography of Winnaretta, Isaac and Isabelle Singer’s daughter, Michael de Cossart notes that “when the Statue of Liberty was finally completed in 1886, it was scarcely realized that the massive sculpture dominating New York’s waterfront owed something for its inspiration to the wife of one of America’s famous sons.”