Browse Primary Sources
Locate primary sources, including images, objects, media, and texts. Annotations by scholars contextualize sources.
Thumbnail of death of Robespierre

Robespierre 10 Thermidor—Exposition of 1877

This painting from 1877 shows in romantic style Robespierre dying in a large room, surrounded by soldiers and others. His shirt is bloodied and his left hand is on his chest; visible in the background is a tablet of the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen, suggesting that it was the cause for which Robespierre died. The image might be seen as a moment of secular apotheosis.

... Read More »
Thumbnail of engraving

Assassination of J. P. Marat

An arrested Corday is hustled out of the door, while the inquest begins. The expired Marat, ghastly pale, looks much more realistic than in the David rendition of his death. Also, the bath in the shape of a boot, which differs from most images, is apparently accurate.

... Read More »
Thumbnail of print

President of a Revolutionary Committee After the Seal Is Taken Off

Critics of popular action first mastered the art of searing attacks and here sharpen their propaganda skills against this activist worker, who appears to be walking off with his "loot" after the locks have been broken.

... Read More »
Thumbnail of engraving

President of a Revolutionary Committee Distracting Himself with His Art While Waiting

The shoemaker shown here is president of his neighborhood revolutionary committee. Although this engraving does not portray a specific political activity, the character evokes hostility toward laborers and artisans who involved themselves in politics. The president hardly seems presidential.

... Read More »
Thumbnail of mocking engraving

Opening of the Club of the Revolution: Circus Act

This engraving depicts a revolutionary club as a circus act complete with dancing dogs and clowns, all celebrating "the law and the King." This image might have been visual propaganda on behalf of clubs, suggesting that they could bring different people together under a big tent, in support of the constitutional monarchy, or it might have been visual farce, suggesting that the clubs and the con

... Read More »
Thumbnail of engraving

The Death of Robespierre

This engraving, based on a color portrait by Beys, depicts the death of Robespierre on the guillotine. The executioners wear not the traditional hangman’s hood but red bonnets representing liberty. This judgment notes Robespierre’s failure to the Revolution itself.

... Read More »
Thai 100-baht banknote thumbnail image

Traditional and Modern Primary Education in Thailand

The image shows the reverse of a Thai 100-baht banknote, with engravings of of King Chulalongkorn and King Vajiravudha statues. The banknote's background theme is education. The detail on the right illustrates Thailand's traditional education system, showing a monk instructing boys in the courtyard of a temple.

... Read More »
Video still of "Steps" thumbnail image

Young Voices on Disability, India

Yellamma Gangadhar is a young woman who relies on a wheelchair for mobility. Her film tells the story of abandonment by her parents at a bus station in Bangalore, India, subsequent help from the Leonard Cheshire home in the city, and the college education she acquired with great difficulty. The struggle featured in the film is access discrimination.

... Read More »
Image thumbnail of Boys' Initiation Mask (keweke)

Boys' Initiation Mask (keweke)

This mask worn by boys during initiation rituals in Papua New Guinea is made of painted bark cloth and canvas stretched over a cane frame. The long fiber fringe adds movement to the mask, which is worn during dances and other secret rituals that that comprise boyhood initiation rites.

... Read More »
Photograph of Gope, Ancestor or Spirit Boards thumbnail image

Gope, Ancestor or Spirit Boards

The object in the photograph is a gope, or spirit board (also called kwoi or hohao). This example is from Papua New Guinea near the Wapo Creek on the Gulf of Papua. Carved from an old canoe, this art form derives from the protective splashboard of the outrigger canoe, which was carved with a human face and was believed to have protective qualities.

... Read More »

Pages