The 9 Thermidor

The 9 Thermidor

  • Table on which Robespierre was lying wounded, 9 Thermidor Year II (July 27, 1794).

  • Phrygian caps, emblems added during the revolutionary period to the four corners of the table.

  • Bundles of lictors surmounted by Phrygian caps, emblems added during the revolutionary period

To close

Title: Table on which Robespierre was lying wounded, 9 Thermidor Year II (July 27, 1794).

Author :

Creation date : 1744

Date shown: July 27, 1794

Dimensions: Height 81 - Width 215

Technique and other indications: Louis XV style desk, made in 1744 for the king's study at the Château de Choisy, returned to the Crown's furniture storage in 1787, then moved in year II to the premises of the Committee of Public Safety.

Storage location: Historic Center of the National Archives website

Contact copyright: © Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

Picture reference: AE / Via / 1

Table on which Robespierre was lying wounded, 9 Thermidor Year II (July 27, 1794).

© Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

To close

Title: Phrygian caps, emblems added during the revolutionary period to the four corners of the table.

Author :

Creation date : 1744

Date shown: July 27, 1794

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: metal

Storage location: Historic Center of the National Archives website

Contact copyright: © Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

Picture reference: AE / Via / 1

Phrygian caps, emblems added during the revolutionary period to the four corners of the table.

© Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

To close

Title: Bundles of lictors surmounted by Phrygian caps, emblems added during the revolutionary period

Author :

Creation date : 1744

Date shown: July 27, 1794

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: on the sides of the table.

Storage location: Historic Center of the National Archives website

Contact copyright: © Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

Picture reference: AE / Via / 1

Bundles of lictors surmounted by Phrygian caps, emblems added during the revolutionary period

© Historic Center of the National Archives - Photography workshop

Publication date: March 2016

Historical context

The multiplication of intrigues against Robespierre and the fall of the Incorruptible

Hébert and Danton executed, Marat assassinated, Robespierre remains the only strong man of the Revolution; he embodies the Republic and the Terror. It only comes back to the 5 Thermidor, but the rupture is already consumed.

On 8 Thermidor (July 26, 1794), Robespierre delivered an inflammatory speech [2] at the Convention tribune. Fear sets in, everyone is determined to save their heads.

On 9 Thermidor (July 27, 1794), the fight began at the Convention where Robespierre and Saint-Just tried in vain to express themselves; The Incorruptible, his brother Augustin, Lebas, Couthon and Saint-Just are arrested. The assembly declares Robespierre and the rebels outlawed.

Badly defended, the Town Hall did not last long. Robespierre the younger tries to flee; Couthon hides under a table; Saint-Just keeps perfect composure; all will be stopped in more or less good condition.
Declared outside the law, Robespierre was sentenced without trial. He was executed with twenty-one of his friends on 10 Thermidor Year II (July 28, 1794) at 7 o'clock in the evening.

Image Analysis

A show piece of furniture

According to an unverifiable but very probable tradition, Robespierre, his face bleeding, spent his last night lying on this Louis XV desk. Terrible image of the Incorruptible lying on the splendor of the Ancien Régime. Besides this episode, the fate of this piece of furniture is special. Produced in 1744 for the king's study at the Château de Choisy, it remained there until 1787, then returned to the crown storage. It is found in Year II in the premises of the Committee of Public Safety. The royal insignia are then hammered and replaced by Phrygian caps and bundles of lictors.

On February 4, 1947, this office was used for the signing of the peace treaty with Italy.

Interpretation

The end of the Terror

The fall of Robespierre put an end to a tense and heavy climate. The Great Terror is over: everyone has the desire to live fully and enjoy the present moment. The time for celebration has come. The balls are numerous, sometimes macabre: people dance in the old Saint-Sulpice and Carmes cemetery; “victims' balls” are organized to which only people who have had a loved one guillotined are invited. We dance, we sing, we laugh, we eat; the beauties, Mesdames Tallien, Récamier and de Beauharnais, compete with each other in sartorial extravagance. Paris breathes, lives.

However, Thermidor does not mark the end of the Revolution. While the sans-culotte movement, closely linked to the Terror, was discredited, a return to the Ancien Régime was not, however, envisaged. On 13 Vendémiaire Year IV (October 5, 1795), a royalist insurrection was suppressed by Barras and Bonaparte. The bourgeois revolution is taking hold.

  • 9 thermidor
  • Convention
  • execution
  • revolutionary government
  • Paris city hall
  • furniture
  • Robespierre (Maximilian of)
  • Terror

Bibliography

Gerard WALTER The Conjuring of the Nine Thermidor Paris, Gallimard coll. "Thirty days that made France", 1974.Françoise BRUNEL, 1794. Thermidor. The fall of Robespierre, Paris, Complex, 1989 Patrice GUNIFFEY The Politics of Terror: Essay on Revolutionary Violence: 1789-1793 Paris, Fayard, 2000. Patrice GUNIFFEY “Roberspierre” in François FURET and Mona OZOUF, Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution Paris, Flammarion, 1988, Réed.Hachette coll. "Plural", 1992.

Notes

1. At the General Security Committee, Vadier uses the Catherine Théot affair to destabilize the Incorruptible. This woman prophesied the coming of a new Messiah: Robespierre according to Vadier. Robespierre, who has just established the cult of the Supreme Being (feast of the Supreme Being on 20 Prairial), does not defend himself.

2. "Members of the committee enter into [the] plot, [...] the coalition thus formed seeks to lose the patriots and the fatherland. What is the remedy for this evil? Punish the traitors, renew the offices of the Committee of general security, purify this committee and subordinate it to the Committee of Public Safety, purify the Committee of Public Safety itself; constitute the unity of the government under the supreme authority of the Convention; thus crush all the factions of the weight of the national authority, to raise over their ruins the power of justice and liberty. "

To cite this article

Delphine DUBOIS and Régis LAPASIN, "Le 9 thermidor"


Video: 9. Thermidor