Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

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This amazingly rich sketch by Jacques–Louis David is one of the most famous works from the French revolutionary era. The thrust of the bodies together and toward the center stand for unity. The spectators, including children at the top right, all…

Napoleon spent ten months on this island in the Mediterranean. He was able to follow events in France without much difficulty. This initial exile was part of a relatively lenient settlement granted by the allies in 1814 after Napoleon’s initial…

Troops sent by Louis XVIII to stop Napoleon’s advance toward Paris either deserted or joined Napoleon.

In July 1807, Napoleon and Alexander agreed to cooperate. Napoleon used this strategy to prevent his enemies from forming an alliance against him.

Napoleon’s eventual acquisition of political power may be attributed partly to his success in publicizing his Egyptian campaign as a great victory for France that spread the values of the Revolution. These engravings by the writer and artist Vivant…

Although Voltaire’s contribution to the Revolution has been much debated, the revolutionaries themselves had absolutely no doubt of his significance. After 1789 he was much in vogue, in that his plays were often performed and other artists lionized…

Cartoons attacked the refractory clergy. Here, fat, overfed, and underworked clergy are squeezed down to an appropriate size. As elsewhere, visual images mocked the clergy by depicting them as subject to the threats and physical attacks of others.

Equestrian skills were expected of a monarch. But portraying the King mounted on a pig was most unflattering. Linking royalty to animals was a theme that emerged after the flight to Varennes.
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