The Liberty of Poetry: Inspiring The Statue of Liberty

Pio Fedi
Liberty of Poetry
Santa Croce, Florence

The Statue of Liberty seems to have been inspired by this statue entitled The Liberty of Poetry. The statue is a memorial monument to Giovan Battista Niccolini, and is housed in the church of Santa Croce in Florence, Italy.

According to its description:

The Florentine statue represents The Liberty of Poetry, and thus the freedom of art and of creative genius in general,

How much inspiration The Liberty of Poetry provided the designers of The Statue of Liberty is subject to debate and interpretation, but the garment on The Statue of Liberty is strikingly similar to that of Liberty of Poetry; the pose is very similar; and the rays of the smaller statue, though much thinner and made of metal, could easily have been the basis for the rays adorning the statue in New York Harbor. The feet are also noticeably similar.

The face on the Florentine statue is much softer, and more feminine than that of The Statue of Liberty, which is, in turn, rather masculine, or hermaphroditic. The overwhelmingly fierce face of The Statue of Liberty induces me to ponder the possibility that it may in actuality be a giant sculpture of the Sacred Hermaphrodite.

Where the right hand of the New York City statue holds a torch, that of The Liberty of Poetry holds remnants of a broken chain, a symbol of defeated tyranny.