Primary Source

Louis Leaves His Family

  • Image of King Louis XVI leaving his family before execution

Annotation

What links the many scenes we have of the King and his family is the modern sensibility on display in all of them. Of course, since dates are uncertain, we must assume that several images hail from the nineteenth century. Yet all confirm the sentimentality that the twentieth century so embraces. Interestingly, this may have been quite accurate, even though this sentimentality had not been as prevalent under Louis XIV in the seventeenth century, especially in court circles. But through the entire eighteenth century, affection had insinuated itself increasingly in relations between husband and wife and parents and children. Of course, the particular situation depicted here encouraged these feelings, but the royal family would not have been a stranger to such customs. That Louis most likely genuinely loved and was devoted to his wife was certainly not typical of his Bourbon ancestors.

"Louis Leaves His Family," Cornell 4606.15.J15; 4606.15.J21

Credits

Included as part of the LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY: EXPLORING THE FRENCH REVOLUTION project https://revolution.chnm.org/d/468

How to Cite This Source
Louis Leaves His Family in World History Commons,