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2018 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Liberté, égalité, fraternité ou la mort. The Iconography of Injustice in the Work of Pierre Goetsbloets

Author : Brecht Deseure

Published in: The Art of Law

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Liberty and justice were central to the political iconography developed in the course of the French Revolution. Revolutionary iconography was introduced in the Southern Netherlands as a result of their annexation to France in the 1790s. The reception of this visual language has hitherto scarcely been investigated, despite offering valuable indications about the degree of popular acceptance of the new legal order. This chapter focuses on a rare example of a visual source that explicitly engages with the revolutionary iconography. The Tydsgebeurtenissen chronicle by the Antwerp nobleman Pierre-Antoine-Joseph Goetsbloets contains a unique collection of watercolour drawings made under the French regime. Despite his repudiation of the revolution and its principles, Goetsbloets was well acquainted with the revolutionary symbolism. Not only did he carefully copy revolutionary ceremonial into his chronicle, he also appropriated the new iconography in a subversive way. The elaborate satires he drew contained ironic reversals of the revolutionary representations of liberty and justice. By systematically undermining the revolutionary symbolism in the privacy of his chronicle, Goetsbloets created a powerful yet little-known visual counter-narrative to the French occupation of his hometown.

Metadata
Title
Liberté, égalité, fraternité ou la mort. The Iconography of Injustice in the Work of Pierre Goetsbloets
Author
Brecht Deseure
Copyright Year
2018
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90787-1_14

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