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The Assassination of Marat

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (published)

  • Date:

    1804 (published)
    1794 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Duplessi-Bertaux, Jean (engraver)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Lt.-Col. R. G. Elwes, OBE

  • Museum number:

    E.1501-1959

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 2, shelf H, box 6

This print shows the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat by Charlotte Corday in 1793. It is a fragment of a page that originally had a large portrait of Corday above the scene of Marat's assassination. Marat was one of those who pushed the French Revolution in more extreme directions. His essays and journals attacked those he considered to be enemies of the revolution and Republicanism, and justified the violence of the Terror. Charlotte Corday came from a royalist family and sympathised with the moderate Girondin faction, who had come under harsh attack from Marat. She gained an audience with him through the ruse of offering to provide names of traitors. Marat often received visitors while he was in his bath, which relieved his chronic skin condition, so he was defenceless when Charlotte stabbed him in the chest. Charlotte Corday was guillotined shortly after the assassination. At her trial she claimed that she “killed one man to save a hundred thousand”.

Physical description

Print depicting the assassination of Marat in 1793. The dying Marat is still in his bath, supported by a woman. A man in a revolutionary Phrygian hat points at Charlotte Corday, who sits, hand on hip, next to the bath. Men with swords and pikes burst into the room.

Place of Origin

Paris (published)

Date

1804 (published)
1794 (designed)

Artist/maker

Duplessi-Bertaux, Jean (engraver)

Materials and Techniques

Etching

Marks and inscriptions

'Duplessi-Bertaux inv. & del. Duplessi-Bertaux aqua forti An 6 de la Repe.'
Lettered

Dimensions

Height: 57 mm sheet, Width: 191 mm sheet, Height: 43 mm image, Width: 134 mm image

Object history note

This print is a plate from Tableau Historiqiues de la Révolution Française, published by Leblanc, Paris, 1804.

Descriptive line

Print entitled 'The Assassination of Marat'. Etching by Jean Duplessi-Bertaux, published as a plate to 'Tableaux Historiqiues de la Révolution Française', 1804.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1959 . London: HMSO, 1964.

Techniques

Etching

Subjects depicted

Revenge; Revolution; Death

Categories

Prints; Death; Firearms; Patriotism; Illustration; Patriotism; Illustration

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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