Revolution under a King: French Prints 1789-92

11 January - 10 June 2016

Mon-Fri, 1pm-5pm



Revolution under a King features a selection of prints from the early, highly volatile years of the French Revolution, curated by Emeritus Professor David Bindman and Dr Richard Taws, in collaboration between UCL Art Museum and UCL History of Art.

It is well known that a chain of key historical events characterised the French Revolution, making it effectively the biggest political media event of its time. These events were communicated extensively throughout Europe in print culture and the combination of image and text, employed extensively in newspapers and graphic works, made for powerful satire and caricature.

It is however often overlooked that the pivotal moment, the Fall of the Bastille, was in fact followed by three years in which the king of France still nominally presided over the dissolution of the old feudal order. It is this period that is the focus of the exhibition, tracing the early years of the Revolution from the ‘June Days’ of 1789, through the Fall of the Bastille, to the eventual deposition of the Louis XVI in 1792. The exhibition will consist of vivid coloured prints of major events from the period, and a selection of medals, including one made from ‘chains of servitude’ supposedly found in the ruins of the Bastille.

A series of talks and events will accompany the exhibition, with the aim of placing this period back into our understanding of the French Revolution, which evolved over time and many would say is still ongoing. Further areas of study linked to the Museum’s unique collection will include Regicide and Terror, Marat and Charlotte Corday, The Directory to Bonaparte, the British Response, and Retrospect: the Construction of the French Revolution in the 19th Century. Through collaborations with artists and performers, UCL Art Museum will explore the material’s contemporary relevance, particularly through the relationship between revolution and performance.

You can explore more on the theme of the exhibition in our French Revolution teaching pack


Blog posts

To read blog posts about the exhibition from staff, students and other collaborations please go to UCL Museums and Collections blog


Public Programme

Below are public events connected to this exhibition. For more information and to book please go to What's On.

Women Art Revolution

UCL Art Museum Film Club:!Women Art Revolution

Date: 26 April | Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm | Location: UCL Art Museum, South Cloisters, Wilkins Building, Gower Street | Price: We welcome a small donation. | Age group: Adults

Join us for a screening of the award-winning documentary !Women Art Revolution exploring how the Feminist Art Movement radically transformed art and culture. Director Lynn Hershman Leeson combined intimate interviews, art and rarely seen archival footage to create a unique film selected as one of the best documentary of the year by MOMA New York.

Pop-corn and a glass of wine will be provided. We welcome a small donation.

Please book at https://women-art-revolution.eventbrite.co.uk

02076792540 | college.art@ucl.ac.uk

Subversive Millinery

The Subversive Millinery: Marie-Antoinette and the revolutionaries

Date: 10 May | Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm | Location: UCL Art Museum, South Cloisters, Wilkins Building, Gower Street | Price: £5 | Age group: Adults

For Revolutionaries in late eighteenth century France, Marie-Antoinette epitomized the extravagance and corruption of an unequal society. However, these associations have made her a potentially subversive symbol in her own right embodying the disruptive possibilities of excess and feminine power. Combining cultural history and craft workshop, participants will explore the Revolution Under a King exhibition, discuss the myth of Marie-Antoinette with Dr Sue Walker and create Marie-Antoinette inspired headpieces.

Please bring recycled materials to share.
£5, Limited places, booking required: https://subversive-marie-antoinette.eventbrite.co.uk

02076792540 | college.art@ucl.ac.uk

brandalism

Revolution in Conversation: Brandalism

Date: 12 May | Time: 1pm | Location: UCL Art Museum, South Cloisters, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT | Price: Free | Age group: All

How do contemporary movements of resistance and protest align with historical definitions of revolution? Join Sabina Andron, researcher at the Bartlett School of Architecture, for a discussion of the recent brandalism project in Paris http://www.brandalism.org.uk/, an anti- capitalist, anti-corporate takeover. She will discuss the medium of the poster as a subversive, grassroots bearer of messages.

02076792540 | college.art@ucl.ac.uk


Marat Sade

UCL Art Museum Film Club: Marat/Sade

Date: 24 May | Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm | Location: UCL Art Museum, South Cloisters, Wilkins Building, Gower Street | Price: We welcome a small donation | Age group: Adults

Join us for a screening of director Peter Brook’s iconic play Marat/Sade. In 1808 at the Charenton Insane Asylum just outside Paris, the inmates of the asylum are mounting their latest theatrical production, written and produced by the most famous inmate of the facility, the Marquis de Sade. The play is a retelling of a period in the French Revolution culminating with the assassination exactly fifteen years earlier of revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat by peasant girl Charlotte Corday.

Popcorn and a refreshment will be provided.

We welcome a small donation.

Please book at https://marat-sade.eventbrite.co.uk

02076792540 | college.art@ucl.ac.uk

art-macabre

Revolutionary Deaths: Art Macabre at UCL Art Museum

Date: 31 May | Time: 7pm-9pm | Location: UCL Art Museum, South Cloisters, Wilkins Building, Gower Street | Price: £15 | Age group: Adults

Join us for a unique evening of drawing and history. View the exhibition Revolution under a King: French Prints 1789-92 and draw life models posing in theatrical tableaux, capturing the spirit and drama of the French Revolution. Create your own illustrations from these key moments in history.

Tickets are £15 and include a refreshment and basic drawing materials. Please book at https://revolutionary-deaths.eventbrite.co.uk

02076792540 | college.art@ucl.ac.uk