Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

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The engraving celebrates the peace treaties of 1801 and 1802. The lack of perspective in this image reflects the vision that Napoleon wanted the French to have when they thought about his actions. Making peace proved to be one of Napoleon’s more…

In this propagandistic allegorical engraving, Napoleon saves the female figure of France from the abyss to which she has been led by "revolutionary fanaticism." The figure of fanaticism is armed to the teeth with "the daggers of party spirit" and…

Napoleon encouraged comparisons to the Roman republic. The French adoption of the term "Consul" was a clear reference to the Roman Republic, for that was the name given the men chosen to direct the republican government in Roman times.

Here an engraver provides a view of the assembly, called by the King to get around the Parlement, a judicial body that blocked his initiatives.

In this extraordinary painting stands a formidable and powerful figure of liberty with her pike and cap. As the title of this work suggests, Liberty appears here as a warrior surveying the field of battle from a commanding height. Furthermore, the…

This painting of the period by Gillaume Guillon Lethière shows the emotion caused by the prospect of loved ones departing for the army. Women had to part with their families in order to support the nation in its time of need. Notice the female…

Men and women threaten the deputies on 20 May 1795. They demand "Bread and the Constitution of 1793." This day marked one of the last interventions of ordinary women into national politics.

This image shows much the same scene on the platform as the preceding one, but the surroundings are much more in evidence. Visible here are the troops. Eight to nine thousand were mobilized to avoid any efforts at rescue. This is clearly the last…

The Estates–General, reborn as the National Assembly, finished its work by completing a new constitution. This document provided for an executive—the King—as well as a legislative body. Suffrage was male and restricted to certain economic…

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…
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