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Motion faite au Palais Royale, par Camille Desmoulins. le 12 Juillet 1789

  • Object:

    Engraving

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (published)

  • Date:

    1791-1794 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Berthault, Pierre-Gabriel, born 1748 - died 1819 (engraver)
    Prieur, Jean Louis (the younger), born 1759 - died 1795 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr E. Rawdon-Smith

  • Museum number:

    E.1783-1952

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case O, shelf 1, box A

This print is an illustration to a group of prints depicting events during the French Revolution. The prints with accompanying text were originally sold separately between 1791-4, then were issued as a set of three bound volumes 'Collection complète des tableaux historiques de la révolution française' in 1804. The authors of the work were all actively involved in the early stages of the revolution, as was the artist of this print, Jean-Louis Prieur.

This scene shows Camille Desmoulins addressing a crowd outside the Palais Royale on the 12 July 1879. People gathered at the nearby cafes, in particular the Café de Foi, to air grievances about the government. On the 12 July, the Paris crowd heard news of the dismissal of the popular Finance minister Jacques Necker. They had hoped that his more egalitarian strict approach to taxes (the nobility and clergy were mostly exempt from paying these) would improve the France's finance situation, especially for the ordinary people. Desmoulins, a trainee lawyer, standing on a table to address the crowd, described the dismissal of Necker as an insult to the ordinary people and their hopes and wishes. He attacked the monarchy and called for a France free to be ruled by the people. He suggested wearing cockades to show allegiance to the cause; initially green, Necker’s colour, but soon changing to red and blue, the colours of Paris. Riots began, culminating in the fall of the Bastille two days later.

Physical description

Print showing Camille Demoulins addressing a crowd outside the Palais Royal. He is standing on a table and holding pistols.

Place of Origin

Paris (published)

Date

1791-1794 (published)

Artist/maker

Berthault, Pierre-Gabriel, born 1748 - died 1819 (engraver)
Prieur, Jean Louis (the younger), born 1759 - died 1795 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Engraving

Marks and inscriptions

'Prieur inv. & del. Berthault Sculp.'
Lettered with title and

'3'
Numbered

Dimensions

Height: 181 mm image, Width: 239 mm image, Height: 238 mm platemark, Width: 289 mm platemark, Height: 292 mm sheet, Width: 450 mm sheet

Object history note

The Collection Complète des Tableaux Historiques de la Revolution Française was first published in 40 parts in Paris between 1791 and 1794. They were published in 3 volumes in 1804.

Descriptive line

'Motion faite au Palais Royale, par Camille Desmoulins. le 12 Juillet 1789'. Print by Pierre Gabriel Berthault after Prieur, from the series 'Collection Complète des Tableaux Historiques de la Révolution Française', published Paris, 1791-1794.

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

Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1952. London: HMSO, 1963.
Text by Clause Fauchet, Sebastien R.N. Chamfort, Pierre L. Ginguené and F.X. Pagès. Cf. Tourneux Collection complète des tableaux historiques de la révolution française :composé de cent treize numéros en trois volumes. Paris: Auber, c1804.
Warren Roberts, Jacques-Louis David and Jean-Louis Prieur. Revolutionary Artists. The Public, the Populace, and Images of the French Revolution New York: University of New York Press, 2000. ISBN: 0-7914-4287-x

Materials

Printing ink

Techniques

Engraving

Subjects depicted

Rebellion; Power (political); Uprising; Crowd scenes; Revolution; Mass media; Protest; Street scenes

Categories

Prints; Firearms; Patriotism; Periodicals; Politics; Illustration

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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