A Woman Amongst Men: Joan of Arc’s Equestrian Statue in Washington DC

Washington DC is home to over 30 equestrian sculptures, but only one female riding horseback. For Joan of Arc, being the only woman amongst men was a familiar distinction.

Six hundred years ago, the illiterate 13-year-old farm girl heard voices and saw blazes of light. Saints appeared to her and told her to fight for France. At age 16, Joan received permission to help lead the French in battle.

All her equipment – armor, horse, and sword, were borrowed.  Her offensive approach to battle led the French to many victories and changed the tide of the Hundred Year War. At age 19, she was captured, turned over to the English, tried for heresy and burned at the stake. More blazes of light.

In 1922, the equestrian statute of Joan of Arc  was dedicated in Merridian Hill Park as gift from the women of France to the women of America.  Merci! It’s a bronze replica of Paul DeBois’ original sculpture at Reims Cathedral in France.  It was “regarded by artists as the finest equestrian statue of modern times.”

Washington DC’s Joan of Arc lost her sword many years ago.  Recently, the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association lobbied the National Park Service to help get Joan her sword back. They succeeded in time for Joan’s 600th birthday on January 6, 2012  – Joan gripped her sword again!

From her perch in Merridian Hill Park, Joan of Arc looks out over the District with her chin up and chest forward – an inspiring symbol of bravery. Her life was short, but her legacy marches on.

9 responses to “A Woman Amongst Men: Joan of Arc’s Equestrian Statue in Washington DC

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  2. Fabulous post about a woman leader before Titte IX!!! Julie is not only a wonderful writer and photographer but a leader in a very special way.

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  4. I second Gail’s comments! Bravo Julie!

  5. Sure if you tell me how to alter the comment text as you did above.
    thank you for liking my post. I look forward to exploring your blog.

  6. There seems to be a thing going on with women, France and the USA – statue of liberty. Thanks for this and for liking my post. cheers.

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  8. I’ve been a fan of Julie’e writing ability since she was just in her teens. I became a fan of her tallent in photography when she spent semester in Europe while going to Brown University. I encouraged her to make a career with using these tallents. She is a remarkable young woman, with all the things she has to endure, she has made a big difference already in her life with her awareness of Narcolepsy and Catalepsy.

  9. Aunt Julie,
    Thank you for supporting Julie’s writing and photography efforts. I would not have met her if it were not for your confidence in Julie.

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