When the Revolution Decorated Paris Homes

The Revolution was not just a period of destruction. After 1789, there were many construction sites throughout Paris. Some owners even wanted to celebrate the new society by decorating their buildings, like at 46 rue Jacob. On the 2nd floor, two figures representing freedom are wearing Phrygian caps. On the 1st floor, two larger niches house classical statues, demonstrating the owner’s wealth: under the Directory (1795-1799), during which the building was constructed, the bourgeoisie also celebrated its success. The time of equality was over.

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The Revolution, a subject of decoration

Screen from the Directory
Screen from the Directory

Decorating one’s home can sometimes be a political statement. After 1795, some Parisians, nostalgic for the past, reproached society under the Directory (1795-1799) for having forgotten the values of the Revolution. In the collections of the Carnavalet Museum, this screen was not only used to preserve privacy: its motif of ridiculous bourgeois figures is also a severe critique against the return to social order.

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