Representing the Revolution

The storming of the Bastille, 14 July 1789During the French revolution tens of thousands of images were produced in France. Pictures of the politicians, the heroes and the martyrs of the Revolution abound. So do pictures of great revolutionary moments such as the storming of the Bastille, or the fall of Robespierre in July 1794. More abstract pictures of the ideals over which the Revolution was fought, images of the Republic and of Liberty amongst others, were also invented and reproduced in their thousands, and were employed in hundreds of different ways. This mass of images demands our attention as a distinct and important aspect of the way French men and women in the revolutionary years made sense of what was happening to them.

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