[The plundering of the King's cellar, Paris, 10th August, 1793 (i.e., 1792)] / J. Zoffany Esqr. pinx. ; R. Earlom sculpt.
Engraving after contemporary history genre painting depicting events in Paris, France, on August 10th 1792 [date as given in title is incorrect], in particular, the aftermath of the storming of the Tuileries Palace by sansculottes showing the imagined scene outside the King's wine cellar. The central figure, a sansculotte, after Bernini's "David", drags a basket containing bottles of wine; mayhem radiates from this point. In the lower right foreground, a Jew is depicted bartering with a woman for an article of clothing stripped from a slain Swiss guard; a sack on his back contains silver and a monstrance from which the Host has fallen to the ground at his feet, having already plundered the Palace chapel. In the center foreground, an aristocratic woman is about to be stabbed by two poissardes. In the general mayhem on the left, a former National guardsman, whose allegiance to the sansculottes is indicated by his lack of trousers, guzzles wine, while another man pours wine into the mouth of a slain Swiss guard, not realizing that two black women are picking his pockets. Behind them someone holds a pike with the severed head of a Swiss guard and a woman attaches a severed body part to another pike. To the rear, at center, a ladder has been placed at the cavernous opening to the wine cellar, several figures stand on it, one of which holds aloft a bonnet rouge, another struggles to assist others in removing the escutcheon from over the center of the entrance while one attempts to deface it. On the right corner of the roof is a statue of Hercules clubbing the Cerberus or possibly the Hydra, beneath which, from a support for a lamp, two men hang a clergyman. The scene to the right of center is dominated by a woman with an ax about to chop off the head of a fallen Swiss guard, another guard is about to be stabbed. Just to the left of the woman stands a Native American woman holding a severed head above her own. In the middle ground, on the far right, stands a cart laden with the bodies of slain Swiss guards. One other prominent figure is a man standing at the back of the basket of wine hauled by the central sansculotte, this man, making a derisive gesture with his left hand, bears the likeness of William Hogarth, an English artist noted for portrayals of mayhem among the lower classes.
Purchase; Elizabeth Hamilton / Jeffrey Wortman; (DLC/PP-1989:085).
Scratch letter proof.
Published in: The French revolution as blasphemy : Johan Zoffany's paintings of the massacre at Paris August 10, 1792 / William L. Pressly. Berkeley ; Los Angeles ; London : University of California Press, c1999.
Exhibited: "Creating the United States," the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 2011-2012.