Symbolic Order for a State Room of a National Palace

Emblematic of the ancien régime, the aristocrat was a subject of scorn during the revolution, when many nobles fled France under the threat of the guillotine. Lequeu’s design for a column comprising an aristocrat with shackled wrists punishes the former ruling class in effigy: the noble, denied liberty, is forced to support the weight of the building. This overtly political design testifies to Lequeu’s active production of revolutionary iconography.

Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826)
Symbolic Order for the State Room of a National Palace, 1789
Pen and black ink, gray-brown wash
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie