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"The Song of the End": The Whole World Now Chases Him

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Where Napoleon was once the conqueror, the world now avenges itself. This sense of reversal, felt widely outside of France, characterized a number of the caricatures of Napoleon, and indeed of the entire Revolution.

"This is My Dear Son": Napoleon as Child of the Devil

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Linking Napoleon with Hell represents a far cry from his own propaganda.

20 June 1791, Anonymous Drawing

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In this depiction of the King’s arrest, the Queen risks her body to save her son, the crown prince.

A Foreign Tree

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These painted engravings ridicule the unrest wrought by French revolutionaries by contrasting French subversion with British stability. The "British Liberty Tree" (depicted in the preceding image) is assigned to the mock Latin genus of "Stabilissimus," while the more sickly looking "Foreign Tree" in this image is put in the genus "Subitarius." Notice in the background of the latter, a... Read More »

A French Gentleman of The Court of Louis XVI

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A sarcastic treatment from England of French manners that contrasts the weakness of the old regime with revolutionary arrogance. The engraver also seems to be pointing toward two entirely different views of masculinity.

A Positive View?

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This composition of the scene, in which a helpless Louis seems to be looking upward to heaven with his confessor, communicates humility. The executioners are relatively passive, leaving the King and confessor center stage. This reveals that in mortal death, the King had a chance to look better than his tormentors. Although this print was undoubtedly produced significantly after the fact,... Read More »

Abuses to Suppress

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This print depicts the Third Estate—represented by the peasant at the rear of the chariot, the worker leading the horse, and the merchant driving—delivering to the National Assembly a petition listing "abuses" to be remedied.

Active Citizen/ Passive Citizen

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This cartoon mocks the distinction between active and passive citizens. Many revolutionaries hated this difference, essentially dividing those with property from those without. The propertied (active) were the only ones who could participate in the political process.

Painting of a blizzard

After the Blizzard

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Painting by Georgi Karlovich Wagner, from the series "Kolyma," Magadan, 1946-1947.

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