Shortly after the accession of King Louis-Philip, the painters Delaroche, Cogniet, Schnetz and Drolling received a commission for four large canvases intended for the Throne Room in the City Hall, to celebrate the heroes of the revolutions of July 1789 and July 1830.

Paul Delaroche was entrusted with the depiction of “the People returning victorious from the Bastille”.

On the evening of 14 July 1789 the heroes of the day, wounded and in tatters, but triumphant, arrived in front of the City Hall, bearing trophies stolen from the old prison. The central figure is victoriously brandishing the key to the fortress and a letter signed by de Launay, the governor of the Bastille, who had just been lynched by the crowd.

The painting was not hung during the reign of Louis-Philip. It was placed in external storerooms, and thus escaped the fire in the City Hall in 1871.

M. A. P.

The work was restored in 2015 thanks to sponsorship by the Galerie Mendes.

City of Paris municipal collection's website

City of Paris municipal collection's website

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