- Museum number
- Object: Revolution
Louis XVI, stamping with agitation, bites at a rolled paper inscribed (in ink) 'A New Constitution', saying, "by Gar I will eat it all as fast as I could pick de leg of de Volaile - oh de pauvre Grand Monarque". On the ground at his feet are his hat, sceptre, and crown. He urinates a stream inscribed 'Despotism'. He stands between four French notables who watch him, two on each side; their names, like that of the 'K-----g', are etched beneath the design. On the extreme left the 'Marqs d Mira------au', a petit maître, stands in profile to the right, smiling, and taking a pinch of snuff. He says: "Sac---e D------u it will make him burst and go of like de Bastile". From his pocket projects a paper inscribed 'New Constitution'. Beside him stands 'Mr D'Espre------il', a stouter man wearing top-boots and an enormous cocked hat. He says, with a gesture of dismay, "Diable - if this is de case, I'm off". They stand outside the door of a building over which Maison de Ville has been scored through and replaced by 'Justice Hall Trials by Jury'.
On the King's left stands the 'D------ D'Orl------ns', threatening him with his
fists and saying: "by G--d you shall swallow it or I will tip you a Mendoza which I learn't of the Prince - John Bull for ever Dam me" (the last two words scored through). He wears a short tunic with a cloak, and a long sabre with (like the King) the order of St. Louis. Beside him (right) stands the 'Marqus de la Fay------tte' in regimentals, saying with a perplexed expression and a deprecating gesture, "by Gar you did send me to free de Americans & by gar I will Free mine own Countrymen" Behind him, in the background, soldiers with two heads on pikes, and a banner, 'Vive le peuple', head a mob who are shouting "no mor Bastile, no more grand monarque". Behind them the Bastille, partly demolished, is on fire. 3 August 1790.
- Production date
Height: 254 millimetres
Width: 359 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
The Constitution was not completed till 1791, but since Mirabeau died in April 1791 this print was probably published in 1790. D'Espréménil, though arrested in 1788 for supporting the Parlement against the King, was a reactionary and leader of the extreme right in the National Assembly. For other prints on the fall of the Bastille see BMSat 7550, &c. For Orléans (the leader of the 'Anglomanes') and the Monarchy cf. BMSat 7668, &c, for his association with the Prince of Wales cf. BMSat 6945.
Engraving, also a coloured impression.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number