Looking for political cartoons from the French revolution? Want to know the history behind the use of cartoons during the French revolution? Our guide gives you the facts & information you want to know.
In an event with seriousness the likes of the French revolution it seems awkward to be mentioning cartoons. But anyone who is relatively well acquainted with the history of France will know that this medium was used as a means of mass communication to serve very effective purposes. These cartoons are funny alright, but the motive behind them and the news that they brought was very contradictory to the medium of expression. During those times a layman citizen could get the real picture of specific events by feasting his eyes upon the works of those cartoonists that sought to produce political cartoons at the time. These cartoons were widely available in print shops and the garden of Palace-Royal which was a market place to sell them.
Famous French Revolution Cartoons
During the years of the revolution many people took to this means of communication from anonymous amateurs to artists of the highest rank like Jacques Louis. In fact cartoons much more so than the literature of the time represents the real picture of France to the people. These political cartoons and caricatures were not just a means thereby which to inform the people with the real news; rather it was a means of instigating the spirit of rebellion in the hearts of men. This was by far the meanest you could get with your opposition which is what led the Republicans and Royalists to battle it out on the canvas to shape the public’s opinion.
Republican & Royalist Cartoons in the French Revolution
The general aim behind the French revolution cartoons was to anger the opposition by means of mockery. The cartoonists had a no holds barred attitude when it came to expression and they would use the most humiliating and condescending jokes with the most demeaning visuals to express their disgust of the regime. The political cartoons of that time are quite unlike those that you find today because back then it meant instigating a revolution and not mere opinion. To a large extent these cartoons were successful in breaking down the dogmatic respect that the people had for the monarchy and clergy which resulted in paving the way for the revolution. The whole revolutionary spirit was given a heroic philosophy which influenced the people to take action and be part of the movement.
French Revolution Cartoon Themes
Today the French revolution cartoons are celebrated and put up in museums and art galleries as they depict a unique and important event in history. From the storming of the Bastille all the way through to Napolean Bonaparte declaring himself the First council these cartoons serve as a graphical representation of the history of the major events during the French revolution. Although there is much good art that is to be appreciated from amongst the revolution cartoons the major chunk of the collection serves better as an outline of history. Although most of the cartoons and caricatures are political in nature some artists have wandered off into depicting social trends at the time such as making fun of the weird hairstyle fashion amongst the women of that time.