Browse
Tag:
thumbnail of the text

THE CONVENTION IS WEAK

Source

The coup of Thermidor did not lead immediately to the dissolution of the Committee of Public Safety (CPS), although much of its power was quickly transferred to other committees, especially the Committee of General Security, and back to the Convention as a whole. This passage, from the memoirs of a member of the CPS after Thermidor, describes the committee’s efforts to continue to guide the... Read More »

The Coronation of Louis XVI from the Gazette of France (1775)

Source

These two articles from the official newspaper of the day describe the coronation of Louis XVI at Reims, the city to which French kings had traveled to be anointed and crowned for a thousand years. Note the seriousness with which all the King's movements are described and how solemnly this ritual was taken—even though it no longer held its original meaning—demonstrating the consent of all... Read More »

thumbnail of the text

THE COUNCIL OF FIVE–HUNDRED CONCURS

Source

The Council of Five–Hundred, the lower house of the legislature under the Directory’s constitution, put up only token resistance to the coup of 18 Brumaire [9 November 1799]. By the following day, this body—in principle, made up of the representatives of the French people and the central institution of republican government—had concurred completely in Bonaparte’s revision to the constitution... Read More »

The Counterrevolution

Source

This cartoon mocks all the leading figures of the "Counterrevolution," including the former royal family and its blood relatives, plus the clergy, the nobility, and specific individuals, such as Mirabeau, who had supported the monarchy in the early years of the Revolution. In this cartoon, the comical counterrevolutionary parade poses no real threat to the impregnable republic at the extreme... Read More »

The Crushed Aristocracy

Source

This image uses the classical figures of an angel and a cherub to celebrate the achievements of Louis XVI on the base of a statue. The words state that he has destroyed the "aristocracy" and established the liberty of the French people. The monarch’s action is equated with the other great reminder of national emancipation and the French Revolution, the Bastille, seen in the background.

Thumbnail of dance of death illustration

The Dance of Death

Source

Children are not frequent subjects of medieval art, but the figure of the child does occur in a medieval artistic and literary form known as the Danse macabre or Dance of the Dead. Originating before 1348, this art form was not the result of the plague epidemics, but medieval artists found the iconic image a useful means to express the morbid and anxious views of death prevalent in the later... Read More »

Thumbnail of dance of the dead mural

The Dance of the Dead

Source

Children are not frequent subjects of medieval art, but the figure of the child does occur in a medieval artistic and literary form known as the Danse macabre or Dance of the Dead. Originating before 1348, this art form was not the result of the plague epidemics, but medieval artists found the iconic image a useful means to express the morbid and anxious views of death prevalent in the later... Read More »

The Day of 21 July 1789

Source

More common than clashes by workers against employers were protests over the rising price of bread. This color drawing depicts events at the City Hall of Strasbourg on 21 July 1789. Notice that the protesters are tearing up the roof and throwing the tiles down into the street to ward off soldiers; similarly, protesters in other buildings are pitching objects out of windows.

Thumbnail of print of demonstration

The Days of 31 May and 1-2 June 1793

Source

Even though popular action had unseated the Legislative Assembly and replaced it with the Convention, the elections that followed had not satisfied the radicals of Paris and their artisanal followers. From 31 May to 2 June 1793, these Parisians demonstrated outside the Convention and through intimidation forced the politicians inside to give up the Girondins who were being vilified. Although... Read More »

The Death of Marat painting

The Death of Marat

Source

This famous depiction of Marat’s assassination (1793) is by the unofficial (and sometimes official) artist of the French Revolution, Jacques–Louis David, a leading exponent of the neoclassical style. Scholars have seen this vision as a revolutionary pietà because of the repose of the corpse, so different from that of a normal body in a stage of rigor mortis. David also planned Marat’s funeral... Read More »

Pages