The “aristrocratic hydra” fights the commoners, with the Guillotine looming in the background (1789)

The French Revolution Digital Archive, launched on January 28th by a partnership between Stanford University and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, makes approximately 14,000 Revolution-related images available to the public. Many seem straight out of a Monty Python movie.

Catherine II of Russia kicks a French soldier in the butt in this satirical newspaper sketch from 1792.

Marie Antoinette as a grinning harpy devouring hogs. In 1793, she would become one of the thousands of victims of the guillotine during the Reign of Terror.

An "aristocrat monster." The fine print says he "represents the figure of a child with a furious snake hair, holding a dagger, ready to strike those who oppose his tyranny. He has feet and hands of tiger claws."

"Oh, what a dreadful squall," says this cartoon's caption. Beware of flying wigs.

"A Rat Disguised as an Old Woman," circa 1789.

"The National Razor," as the guillotine was lovingly called during the Reign of Terror.

A satirical funeral procession for the Jacobins (1792)

An angel and her trumpet, flying over the Jacobin funeral procession.

Beware of floating heads. Praying to the shrine at St. Ann's Hill, illustrated by James Gillray (1798).

Mr. Guillotin proposing his machine to the National Assembly for executions (1791)

An astronomer falls into an abyss while looking at the stars (1789-92)

This caricature shows the three estates as part of a carriage (1789)

Caricature of Louis-Joseph, Prince of Condé, angrily riding an ostrich (1790-92)

"Oup! Oup!" says this dancing nobleman to his wigged dog.

"Oup! Oup!" says this dancing nobleman to his wigged dog.

You can browse the rest of the vaults yourself here.

Co.Design

Marie Antoinette As A Hog-Chewing Harpy And More Freaky Pics From The French Revolution

The newly launched French Revolution Digital Archive has over 14,000 images available to the public. Get ready for a truly bizarre ride.

Our high school history classes taught us that during the French Revolution, oppressed citizens stormed the Bastille, marched on Versailles, and were slaughtered by the thousands at the guillotine during the Reign of Terror. But did your history teacher ever tell you about the farting angels, glowing illuminati triangles, monstrous harpies, and other truly bizarre images that filled Revolution-inspired art?

The French Revolution Digital Archive, launched on January 28th by a partnership between Stanford University and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, makes approximately 14,000 Revolution-related images available to the public. Mined from the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale, this trove of political cartoons, medals, and coins is history nerd porn. Many of these images are what you’d expect: portraits of white-wigged royalty, like Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette; bloody battle scenes; and glorification of the “National Razor,” as the guillotine was lovingly called.

But other images seem straight out of a Monty Python movie. An angel farts through a trumpet over a Jacobin funeral procession in one satirical sketch. Catherine II of Russia kicks a French soldier in the butt with her little slipper. A hydra-headed beast wearing aristocratic hats on each of its heads attacks sword-wielding commoners. And countless cartoons depict Marie Antoinette as a grinning harpy licking her chops, devouring hogs. Click the slide show above for some of the most awesomely weird images from the French Revolution Digital Archive, or browse the vaults yourself here.
[All images via French Revolution Digital Archive]

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