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M. Anne Charlotte Corday

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    1799 (published)
    1799 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Aliprandi, Giacomo (printmaker)
    Beys, Giacomo (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stipple engraving

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mrs G M Spear

  • Museum number:

    E.1019-1970

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 1, case WE

This print shows Charlotte Corday ascending the scaffold before facing her death at the guillotine. Her crime was to have assassinated Jean-Paul Marat, a powerful journalist and political figure during the early stages of the French Revolution. Marat’s writings and influence helped push the French Revolution in a more extreme direction. 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 under false pretences, posing as an informant, and used the opportunity to stab 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”. Although executed as an enemy of the state this print shows that she was seen as a heroine for many people in both England and France. In this series Idnarpila also engraved an image of the revolutionary politician Robespierre's 1794 execution by guillotine, which ended the reign of Terror.

Physical description

Engraving depicting Charlotte Corday as she steps up to guillotine. Her hands are tied. She steps from a ladder onto the platform where two men are waiting for her, one gesturing towards the guillotine. The platform is surrounded by a crowd with some carrying bayonets.

Place of Origin

London (published)

Date

1799 (published)
1799 (made)

Artist/maker

Aliprandi, Giacomo (printmaker)
Beys, Giacomo (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Stipple engraving

Marks and inscriptions

Peinted by J. Beys

Engraved by James Idnarpila

M.Anne Charlotte Corday / Was born at St Saturnin se[sic] was Guillotined / in Paris the 17th July 1793 at the age of 25 and met her / death with great courage, and tranquility. She triumph'd / in having freed the World of a Tyran [sic], revenged so many / innocent Victims and prevented other massacres.

M'e Anne Charlotte Corday / Native de St. Saturnin, Agèe de 25 ans / fut guillotinèe à Paris le 17 Julliet 1793 allant tranquillem't / audevant de la Mort, et Contente d'avoir ôtè du Monde / un Tiran, et vengè bien d'innocente Victimes; ainsi que / d'avoir prevenu d'autres desastres.

London Published the 1. of June 1799

Dimensions

Height: 297 mm image, Width: 240 mm image, Height: 400 mm platemark, Width: 284 mm platemark, Height: 454 mm sheet, Width: 314 mm sheet

Descriptive line

M. Anne Charlotte Corday by James Idnarpila (Giacomo Aliprandi) after the painting by J Beys (Giacomo Beys)

Labels and date

The Execution of Charlotte Corday
1799

Charlotte Corday was born into a minor aristocratic family. In 1793, she stabbed the radical leader Jean- Paul Marat to death. Guillotined after a brief trial, she was vilified by revolutionaries and hailed as a martyr by their opponents. Her fate captured popular imagination and her story circulated widely in prints throughout Europe.

England (London)
By James Idnarpila (Giacomo Aliprandi) after Giacomo Beys
Stipple engraving
Bequeathed by Mrs G.M. Spear
[09/12/2015]

Materials

Paper; Printing ink

Techniques

Stipple engraving

Subjects depicted

Decapitation; Capital punishment; Revolution; History; Guillotine; Crowd scenes

Categories

Commemoration; Death; Uniform

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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