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The Washington Battle Monument by Maximilian Godefroy Essay (Critical Writing)


Maximilian Godefroy, a French-American architect, has earned respect as one of the greatest authors of his time. His work is visible on many of his buildings in Baltimore and the larger United States of America. One of his finest works was the design and construction of the Battle Monument. It has become a landmark.

Jean Maur Godefroy, known as Maximilian Godefroy, was a French architect who immigrated to America. He studied Civil and Geographical engineering. During his stay in the United States, he designed a well-known statue in Baltimore. It became known as the Battle Monument. Its construction began on September 12, 1815.

The design and construction were to commemorate the defeat of the British in the war of 1812 by Baltimore state. It later became the official emblem (Marter 343). It is on North Calvert Street between East Fayette and East Lexington Streets in Baltimore, Maryland. The monument is famous. It acts as a memory of the soldiers and the spirit of the people who died fighting the war (Kelly and Remsberg 82). The location of the monument was strategic (Marter 343).

The figure has architectural roots in Egypt. The master was interested in ancient art and the mixing of different styles (Kelly and Remsberg 82). The base comprised of an Egyptian Revival Cenotaph. It portrayed a tomb that depicted the remembrance of the dead soldiers. It is a 39 feet tall column. It was the local marble that the builders used to make the monument. The base comprises of eighteen layers of marble.

During that time of the war, that was the number of states that joined the United States of America (Marter 343). The base has four corners. At each end, there is a Griffin that represents the might of the Americans (Marter 343). The builders had to find a way to list the name of the soldiers who died during the war. The names of the officers who died are at the top. Its construction lasted almost a decade. The sponsors included the City management, the security team, and military commanders (Kelly and Remsberg 82).

There have been many war memorial representations for America. But the Battle Monument was the first of its kind (Eshelman 120). The foundation building started on the first anniversary of the Battle of North Point (Kelly and Remsberg 82). A lot of people were present at the procession, including Maximilian Godefroy with his assistants and military officers (Eshelman 120).

The reason the architect decided to create this very work lies in his past. Godefroy served in the French army, so he was able to understand both feelings of soldiers who are fighting for their country and those who came back home (Kelly and Remsberg 82). The knowledge made it possible to install the needed atmosphere into the sculpture so that everyone can easily interpret it (Eshelman 120).

With the help of the Battle Monument, the architect wanted to remind the citizens of their history. It was to be a symbolic appreciation of the work of the soldiers who captured Baltimore during the war (Zanow, Johnston, and Lynch 25). The monument exudes the feeling of safety, and it seems that nothing can break it. The walls look extremely thick, and the doors are battered (Marter 343). The statue on the top overlooks and protects the citizens.

Further, the figure awarded Baltimore state the nickname of Monumental City. Many say that Maximilian Godefroy wanted to pass a message of prosperity and happiness through this work. The days of danger passed and ended with the triumph over a defeated enemy (Zanow, Johnston, and Lynch 25).

The Washington monument has withstood the test of time. Ever since its creation, there were others that came after it. But the most important thing is its representation. The introduction of the statue of Washington at the top of the monument made a significant difference.

Works Cited

Eshelman, Ralph E. A Travel Guide to the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake, Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. Print.

Kelly, Cindy, and Edwin Harlan Remsberg. Outdoor Sculpture in Baltimore. Baltimore, Md: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. Print.

Marter, Joan M. The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

Zanow, Lois, Sally Johnston, and Denny Lynch. Monuments to Heaven. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2010. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, April 9). The Washington Battle Monument by Maximilian Godefroy. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-washington-battle-monument-by-maximilian-godefroy/

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"The Washington Battle Monument by Maximilian Godefroy." IvyPanda, 9 Apr. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-washington-battle-monument-by-maximilian-godefroy/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Washington Battle Monument by Maximilian Godefroy." April 9, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-washington-battle-monument-by-maximilian-godefroy/.


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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Washington Battle Monument by Maximilian Godefroy." April 9, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-washington-battle-monument-by-maximilian-godefroy/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Washington Battle Monument by Maximilian Godefroy'. 9 April.

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