The Gate of Parisis, from Civil Architecture

This proposal for a monumental entrance gate honoring the Celtic tribe that gave Paris its name was exhibited in the Hall of Liberty shortly before the Reign of Terror ended in 1794. It is dense with republican imagery. Atop an arch, a colossal figure of the Gallic Hercules wears a Phrygian cap, surmounted by a Gallic rooster, as he holds a statue of Liberty standing on a globe. Yet Lequeu’s apparent support for the revolution cannot be taken at face value. On the back of the drawing, he wrote, “A drawing to save me from the guillotine. Everything for the fatherland.”

Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826)
The Gate of Parisis, from Civil Architecture, 1794
Pen and black ink, brown and gray wash, watercolor
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie