The following is a guest write-up by Woody Woodis, Cataloger, Prints and also Photographs Division

Today, in respect of Bastille Day, or La Fête Nationale, noting the beginning of the French Revolution, we function highlights from the French politics Cartoon Collection. This tiny but exemplary arsenal of 365 prints spans virtually two centuries and also touches on every aspect of French political culture from louis XIV, recognized as the sunlight King, come Napoleon III, the critical emperor to dominance France. The Library of Congress obtained the prints native a selection of sources; countless came as part of a considerable purchase the the Windsor Library repertoire in 1926.

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Suggesting the conditions the caused revolution, Calendrier royal indiquant le cours du soleil (1706) mirrors Louis XIV sit on a crude throne in ~ the center of the sun whose rays are filled with text that often present the low-lights the his reign; in the upper left corner, referral to the eclipse the 1705 further casts a shadow on the dimming light of the sunlight King’s final years.


Calendrier imperial indiquant le cours du soleil. Hand fancy etching, 1706. //

Commemorating the storming that the Bastille in July 1789, Adieu Bastille (ca. 1789) presents the climb of the peasantry together an enormous, imposing number who treats the aristocracy and the clergy as figures in a child’s game, if in the background,  employees dismantle the Bastille.


Adieu Bastille. Hand fancy etching, 1789. //

Pariser Poisarden (ca. 1794) illustrates the duty of women during the insurrectionary days of the French Revolution. Here a Parisian fishwife strides forward, hand-in-hand through a young, aristocratic woman, possibly an early Marianne figure, propelled by a menacing harpy representing the anger and violence the working course women.


Pariser poisarden. Aquatint and also etching by C. Katz, 1794. //

In France, censorship that the push was a major issue throughout the 19th century, Descente dans les ateliers de la liberté de la presse (1833) is a an excellent example of the degree to i m sorry the king and his officials visited silence the criticism from the press, below Louis-Phillippe, himself, is shown stopping the mouth of the printer.


Descente dans les ateliers de la liberté de la presse. Lithograph by J.J. Grandville and August Desperret, 1833. //

Descriptions are obtainable online for every one of the prints in the collection and nearly half have been digitized. So while some might be complying with the tour de France in actual time this month, here’s an opportunity to take it a visual tour of a tumultuous duration of French history.

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