This color drawing, produced in 1793 at the request of the Committee of Public Safety and then published as an engraving, caricatures the British army and its king, George III, as incompetent, who, despite fine uniforms, cannot defeat shoddily clad, yet energetic sans–culottes (on the left), who humiliate the British by defecating on the advancing troops. The British vainly try to respond with... Read More »
These images, all engraved and widely circulated years after the event, show four different moments of the arrest. Each successive image renders the scene increasingly dramatic. The first, a woodcut executed shortly after the event, shows the postman alone recognizing the King.
When the revolutionaries, led by thousands of women, marched to Versailles, they triumphantly seized and then brought the king to Paris, where he would live in the midst of his people. Here this image attempts to maintain a perception of royal pomp and grandeur, ignoring the reality that the king was forced against his will. Still few could fully foresee the ultimate changes underway –– that... Read More »
Arthur Young, an Englishman, traveled across France on the eve of the Revolution recording his impressions of life there, particularly those aspects that seemed to him to compare unfavorably with his native land. In the excerpt below, he comments on the peasantry’s landholdings, remarking on the multiple arrangements of land tenure and on the small size of peasant farms, all of which seemed... Read More »
The article "Woman" was written by four contributors who considered the question from four angles: medicine and the history of opinions about women’s nature; writings about women’s place in the state and marriage; the social differences between men and women; and women’s legal status in different societies. Although the Encyclopedia, the fundamental compendium of the Enlightenment, repeated... Read More »
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.
The petitions from rural communities focused in part on the abuse of seigneurial dues owed by peasants to lords for which, in principle, they received protection and supervision. But by 1789, on the verge of the French Revolution, these excerpts demonstrate that peasants considered their lords not as protectors but as exploiters who constantly turned the screws to extract ever more rent or... Read More »
This engraving of the attack highlights the heroism of the people charging determinedly into the billowing clouds and firing relentlessly in the face of strong resistance emanating from the fortress.