Bartholdi’s statues of ‘winegrowers’

Article from 05-08-2006

World famous sculptor of New York’s Statue of Liberty, Auguste Bartholdi was born in Colmar and created three works directly related to the wine world.

They’re located in the heart of Colmar. A short stroll is all that’s needed to unearth them:

- Le Petit Vigneron (‘Small Grower’ 1869) is in the covered market on rue des Vignerons. At the grower’s feet, who’s drinking from a cask, his dog, pruning knife and bunches of grapes.

- La fontaine Schwendi (‘The Schwendi Fountain’ 1898) is located in place de l'Ancienne Douane (see photo above).
Lazare de Schwendi, Hapsburg war lord and noble from Hohlandsberg in Alsace, stormed Tokay and took 4000 casks of top wine as booty. He holds the title "Father of Tokay d'Alsace wine", as tradition has it that, in 1568, he brought back and planted Tokay vine stock in Kientzheim (although the Tokay d'Alsace we know is made from Pinot Gris planted much more recently).
Bartholdi portrays him brandishing vine cuttings in his right hand with his warrior’s sword in its sheath.
Worth noting that today Château de Kientzheim is the seat of the Confrérie Saint-Etienne (St. Stephen’s wine brotherhood) and a wine museum.

- Le Tonnelier Alsacien (‘The Alsace Cooper’ 1902), at the top of the former Bourse aux vins (wine stock exchange) in the ‘Maison Renaissance des Têtes.’

These aren’t Bartholdi’s only works of art on Colmar’s streets. You can also learn more about the sculptor at the Musée Bartholdi located in the house he was born in.

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