Primary Source

Watch Yourself or You'll be a Product for Sale

Engraving of female figures living during the Thermidorian revolution


The women in this image appear to be tempted to a life of prostitution. The female figure in the left foreground gestures toward the door but remains modestly attired. Once inside, the women are there for the pleasure of men and wear revealing or little clothing. The contrast in this moralistic image also reveals how differently contemporaries could depict "real" women from allegorical ones. The engraving reflected a vision of life during the Thermidorian reaction and the Directory (1795–99).


Title in French
Garde à vous N.o 1 ou le Sérail en Boutique


Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, RESERVE QB-201 (138)-FOL

Michel Hennin. Estampes relatives à l'Histoire de France. Tome 138, Pièces 12141-12215, période : 1795-1796

How to Cite This Source

"Watch Yourself or You'll be a Product for Sale," in World History Commons, [accessed August 8, 2022]