Female revolutionary figures stood for all kinds of qualities and virtues, in this case, "Truth." Women figures appeared so prominently in paintings and engravings because French nouns for the qualities and virtues were usually feminine (Truth = La Vérité). In other words, paintings such as this one did not represent real women; they used allegorical figures to make a more abstract point.
On 4 February 1790, the Marquis de Favras was executed for plotting to spirit the King out of France and stage a coup against the Constituent Assembly. The exposure of this plot generated such negative publicity for the crown that after the execution, the King addressed the Constituent Assembly and condemned Favras, declaring his support for the Revolution. At Necker’s prompting, he here "... Read More »
Similar to the two engravings of trees, this engraving contrasts English order with French anarchy. On the left, a lion (representing England) sits at the foot of a chiseled rock, part of which is labeled "Unanimity." A crown appears over the rock; a unicorn lies behind it. To the right, a multiheaded serpent representing France writhes around a broken flag reading "Anarchy."
In 1984, the Czechoslovak and Hungarian governments announced a new public project: the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros complex on the Danube River, a 3 billion dollar water project, that would involve the construction of two massive dams (one in each country) and a series of hydroelectric plants. In response to this action, an environmental activist group emerged, later called Duna Kör or Danube Circle.... Read More »
In this rendition of an incident from the Vendée rebellion, an ordinary woman is shown standing up to the rebels. It comes from a series of heroic images of the Revolution and shows that women could be heroines for the Republic.
Edward Jenner (1749-1823) was a physician in rural Gloucestershire. Like Lady Mary Wortley Montagu he learnt of a widely known folk remedy to protect against smallpox. Smallpox cases were increasing in the 18th century and had a mortality rate of 40%. At least 30% of those who survived were left horribly scarred. Smallpox was a disease of children and youth in particular. However, dairymaids... Read More »
This account, probably by Thomas Howell, a soldier of the Highland Light Infantry regiment, offers a firsthand account of the skirmishes between British/Portuguese forces and the French armies. Little is known about Howell except that he was born in 1790 of Methodist parents. His memoir was published shortly after the events described (a second edition dates from 1819).
The guillotine was first introduced as a humane, efficient, and above all modern form of execution in April 1792; during the radical phase of the Republic, it would become the symbol of the Terror. This engraving suggests the guillotine is providing "good support for liberty."
The “French” armies included units from many allied states. Excerpted below is the memoir of an ordinary foot soldier in Napoleon’s army. Jakob Walter came from Württemburg, one of the medium-size German states allied with Napoleon. He fought against other German states, in this instance Prussia.