February and June 1848

February and June 1848

  • February 24, 1848 five o'clock in the evening.

    ANONYMOUS

  • Fight of the Parisian people during the days of February 22, 23 and 24, 1848.

    ANONYMOUS

  • June 23, 1848, capture of the barricade on rue Fontaine au Roi and the Faubourg du Temple.

    BONHOMMÉ François Ignace (1809 - 1881)

  • Memories of the days of June 1848. Removal of the barricade on rue Planche-Milbray.

    BEAUMONT

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Title: February 24, 1848 five o'clock in the evening.

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1848

Date shown: February 24, 1848

Dimensions: Height 37.8 - Width 18.8

Technique and other indications: drawing on paper, pen and ink sepia

Storage location: Saint-Denis Art and History Museum

Contact copyright: © Saint-Denis, art and history museum - Photo I. Andréani

February 24, 1848 five o'clock in the evening.

© Saint-Denis, art and history museum - Photo I. Andréani

To close

Title: Fight of the Parisian people during the days of February 22, 23 and 24, 1848.

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Date shown: February 22, 1848

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Storage location: Carnavalet Museum (Paris) website

Contact copyright: © Photo library of the Museums of the City of Paris - Photo Ladet

Picture reference: 1997 CAR 0641 A / HIST PC 056 E

Fight of the Parisian people during the days of February 22, 23 and 24, 1848.

© Photo library of the Museums of the City of Paris - Photo Ladet

To close

Title: June 23, 1848, capture of the barricade on rue Fontaine au Roi and the Faubourg du Temple.

Author : BONHOMMÉ François Ignace (1809 - 1881)

Date shown: June 23, 1848

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: Black and white lithograph in 2 parts from 2 different prints Inv No. 3194: 27.5 x 44.7 cm; Inv No. 3195: 5.7 x 45.4 cm

Storage location: Saint-Denis Art and History Museum

Contact copyright: © Saint-Denis, art and history museum - Photo I. Andréani

Picture reference: NA 3194 / NA 3195

June 23, 1848, capture of the barricade on rue Fontaine au Roi and the Faubourg du Temple.

© Saint-Denis, art and history museum - Photo I. Andréani

To close

Title: Memories of the days of June 1848. Removal of the barricade on rue Planche-Milbray.

Author : BEAUMONT (-)

Date shown: June 1848

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: Lithography

Storage location: Carnavalet Museum (Paris) website

Contact copyright: © Photo library of the Museums of the City of Paris - Cliché R. Briantsite web

Picture reference: 1994 CAR 2336NB / HIST PC 057 C

Memories of the days of June 1848. Removal of the barricade on rue Planche-Milbray.

© Photo library of the Museums of the City of Paris - Photo R. Briant

Publication date: January 2006

Historical context

On February 24, 1848, Louis-Philippe, who had reigned since the revolution of July 1830, abdicated. Anxious to stem unemployment, the provisional government set up "National Workshops" on February 26. From June 23 to 26, many workers thrown into the streets of Paris rose up in a terrible street battle: 4,000 workers on one side and 1,600 guards and soldiers on the other were killed. By order of the Minister of War, Cavaignac, soon nicknamed “prince of blood”, the riots were harshly repressed. Most painters, designers and writers side with the established order.

Image Analysis

The two prints illustrating these days of February 1848 resonate strongly with the iconography of the Three Glorious Years. As in 1830, the fighting lasted three days, and the scenes are seen from the point of view of the insurgents who defend themselves and treat their wounded in the foreground. On the barricade or in front of the July Column, all layers of society are mingled. Workers in blouses, bourgeois in hats, boy with conquering gesture, national guards and polytechnicians recognizable by their uniforms form a fraternal community. The only difference from the 1830 imagery is the absence of women.
In June, the point of view reversal is complete. The foreground is occupied by the mobile guards, from behind, carpet against the barricade to protect themselves from the shots fired from the windows of the buildings by invisible insurgents or with sinister faces. The center of the composition is no longer occupied by the kid from Paris, from the front, but by General Cavaignac, from behind on the footbridge of the canal (Bonhommé), or by two soldiers who are fighting hand to hand, as if to express the confusion of the situation (Beaumont).
While in February the victims are workers, in June they are soldiers: two simple recruits at Beaumont, the chief of staff, Husson de Prailly - whose remains are carried on a stretcher - and the officer Latour - seriously injured - at Bonhommé's.

Interpretation

The anonymous drawing dedicated to February 24 is a report. Made live, at 5 o'clock in the evening, it shows two plain, therefore red, banners, like the one demanded the next day by the crowd at the Town Hall, replacing the tricolor. To force the viewer's gaze, the artist plays on geometric shapes, bringing all the heads, from the back to the bottom of the column, to simple circles contrasting with the two rectangular and single-colored banners. The print does not erase the excesses or spontaneity: an insurgent clings to the flag pole with one hand but holds a bottle of alcohol with the other, a man has come with his pickaxe on his shoulder ...
In the second lithograph, executed after the fact, history is rewritten. The kid from Paris proudly brandishes, from February 24, the tricolor which, in reality, will hardly be imposed the next day by Lamartine.
Whether it is testimony or propaganda, the image sweetens the first revolt and dramatizes the second.
In February, despite the winter and the late hour, the light is strong. The revolution is akin to a popular carnival: not only armed men rub shoulders with musicians, but the burning of the throne, delivered to a child, is the only violent act, responsible for signifying, without brutality towards Louis-Philippe, the destruction of the monarchy.
In June, despite the summer, it rains heavily, and lightning strikes the charcoal sky [1]. The composition is made twilight by the black smoke coming out of the burning houses. This phantasmagorical representation is all the more powerful as François Bonhommé, an artist trained with Horace Vernet and Paul Delaroche, is sensitive to Saint-Simonian theses and close to the humble [2]. For more than a decade, he has been a scrupulous witness to industrial life, especially metallurgy. But he also painted, in this year 1848, an event which struck him: The Invasion of the National Assembly, May 15. And this crowd burst into the Chamber of Deputies, with the provocative cry of "The Assembly is dissolved!" Deeply disappointed the intelligentsia. For her, the "working classes" have suddenly become "dangerous classes", which refuse the legality resulting from universal suffrage. Henceforth, social divisions take precedence over political differences, and we pass from the “glorious days” to a barbaric insurrection which recalls September 1793. The choice of the French is then only between the counter-revolutionary republic of Cavaignac and the vague hope embodied by Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.

  • barricades
  • Second Republic
  • red flag
  • tricolour flag
  • Paris
  • Revolution of 1848
  • Napoleon iii
  • Louis Philippe
  • reportage
  • working class

Bibliography

Maurice AGULHONThe Forty-EightParis, Gallimard-Julliard, coll. "Archives", 1975.Alain CORBIN and Jean-Marie MAYER (eds.)The BarricadeParis, Publications of the Sorbonne, 1997. Marie-Laure GRIFFATON, François Bonhommé, painter, witness to industrial life in the 19th centuryMetz, Editions Serpenoise, 1996.Ségolène LE MEN "Images of 1848 in the Republic of the Arts", in The Revolutions of 1848. Europe of ImagesParis, National Assembly, Jan. 1998. Victor MAROUCKJune 1848Paris, Librairie des Deux Mondes, 1880, reprint Spartacus, 1998. Philippe VIGIERThe Second RepublicParis, PUF, coll. "What do I know? », 1996.

Notes

1. There was of course a violent storm in Paris, but on June 25 and not on the 23rd. See Norbert Truquin, Mémoires et aventures d'un proletaire à travers la revolution, Paris, 1880, reed. Maspero, coll. "Acts and memories of the people", 1977, p. 78.

2. In a manuscript kept at the Iron Museum, he writes: "They are the soldiers of industry, of peaceful conquests ... They feed us, they die for us. What are we waiting for, ourselves, artists? and poets, to dedicate our books and paintings to them? "

To cite this article

Myriam TSIKOUNAS, "February and June 1848"


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