Monks Learning to Exercise.
This image ridicules monks for contributing nothing to society, either economically or demographically, by depicting a group of them being taken from the monastery and drafted into the army, where they hope "to become good citizens" as was expected under religious restructuring. To bring the clergy under the control of the new government, on 12 July 1790, the National Assembly passed the measure that became known as the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. It targets not Catholicism but past clerical abuses. The measure sought to create a "revolutionary" clergy, which would serve the people rather than rule over them.
Library of Congress
Collection de Vinck. Un siècle d'histoire de France par l'estampe, 1770-1870. Vol. 19 (pièces 3107-3418), Ancien Régime et Révolution
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division PC 5 - 1790, no. 20 (AA size) [P&P]
Still Image Item Type Metadata
Les moines aprenant à faire l'exercise