Printed cards illustrating French Revolution scenes. These and another 14,000 illustrations were made available on the French Revolution Digital Archive thanks to the collaboration between Stanford University and the French National Library (Bibliothèque Nationale de France). It’s a mix of caricatures of revolutionary vilains and heroes, key symbols such as the ‘guillotine’ and documents as serious as parliamentary deliberations.
It took several years to bring together the multitude of documents which are now grouped at the French Revolution Digital Archive. It’s been divided into two categories: Parliamentary Archives and French Revolution images dating from 1789.
The data is easily searchable by either random intellectuals or passionate historian. The documents browsed on the site take the form of prints, medals, coins and other elements.
When they don’t represent guillotines instruments or costumes of the time in total seriousness, the illustrations as colorful and amusing. In one of the cards for instance, the people of France, the ‘enemy’ are depicted as a multi-headed beast attacking the aristocracy and the battalion. White, blue and red, tones of the French flag, are mainly used to color the hand drawn cards. A constant reminder, despite the satirical drawings, of the omnipresence and importance of French patriotism at that time.