- Museum number
- Object: Citizen Coupe tête in his misery.
A ragged and almost naked sansculotte sits in his room surrounded by his starving family. He holds in the right hand a dagger, in the left a noose of rope, uncertain which to use. Above his head is a staple in a beam, ready for the rope. A fierce, half-naked child seated on straw (right) gnaws a bone; another, much emaciated, begs for a share. Behind, the distraught mother kneels weeping over the prostrate body of a girl. On the floor (left) are a pitcher, an empty plate, and bones, one resembling the skull of a horse. On the chimney-piece are two skulls; above it is a print of three three-quarter length figures: 'Marat Pain Robertspi[erre]'. On the wall is a mirror in a carved frame above which are a bonnet-rouge and headsman's axe. Next it is a print of 'Le Bonne Hamme, [sic] & Citoyen Egalite', standing on a pile of skulls (see BMSat 8292, &c).
Through an open window is seen a scaffold on which is a guillotine with small figures hastening towards it. A bunch of bodies hangs from a gibbet. The windows of a house are crowded with spectators. Beneath the design:
'How diff'rent is poor Coupe Tête's Lot
His bloody Services forgot.
Famine triumphant Reigns:
All his dire Crimes come fresh in View,
His Treasons and his Murders too,
Distract the Wretches Brains.
With var'ous Thoughts his Mind's at Strife,
Whether to chuse the Rope or Knife,
To end his Wretched Days:
The Mother oe'r her Children moans,
Hears their sad sighs and dying Groans,
In vain to Heav'n she prays.
Till overwhelmed with poignant Grief,
In Death they only find Relief,
Who comes with ling'ring Pace;
Thus banish'd from all earthly Joy,
Hunger and Misery destroy,
This Democrat's vile Race.' 29 January 1793
- Production date
Height: 335 millimetres
Width: 244 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
The opening line suggests that this is a companion print to one of a prosperous John Bull, cf. BMSat 8288, &c. For Paine see BMSat 8287. For the pendant to this image, see the discussion of the two together in John Barrell, The Spirit of Despotism (2006), pp. 228-31.
- Not on display
- Associated events
- Associated Event: French Revolution 1793
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number