French Revolution

Jean-Rondolphe Perronet and the Bridges of Paris

Jean-Rondolphe Perronet and the Bridges of Paris

On October 27, 1708, French architect and structural engineer Jean-Rodolphe Perronet was born. He is best known for his many stone arch bridges, among them his most popular work, the Paris Pont de la Concorde. “Great bridges being monuments which serve to make known the grandeur and genius of a nation, we cannot pay too much attention to means for perfecting their architecture; this may be varied in treatment, but there must…
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Nicolas-Jacques Conté and the Creation of the Pencil

Nicolas-Jacques Conté and the Creation of the Pencil

On August 4, 1755, French painter, inventor, army officer and balloonist, Nicolas-Jacques Conté was born. Among others, he is credited with the invention of the modern pencil. Moreover, some consider him one of the greatest inventive minds of the eighteenth century. He distinguished himself for his mechanical genius which was of great avail to the French army in Egypt. Napoleon Bonaparte called him “a universal man with taste, understanding and genius capable of…
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Gaspard Monge and his System of Descriptive Geometry

Gaspard Monge and his System of Descriptive Geometry

On May 10, 1746, French mathematician Gaspard Monge, Comte de Péluse was born. He is best known for being the inventor of descriptive geometry as the mathematical basis of technical drawing, and being the father of differential geometry. During the French Revolution Monge served as the Minister of the Marine, and was involved in the reform of the French educational system, helping to found the École Polytechnique. “Descriptive geometry has two objects: the first is…
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Vivant Denon and the Science of Egyptology

Vivant Denon and the Science of Egyptology

On January 4, 1747, French artist, writer, diplomat, author, and archaeologist Dominique Vivant, Baron Denon was born. He was appointed as the first Director of the Louvre Museum by Napoleon. His two-volume Voyage dans la basse et la haute Egypte (“Journey in Lower and Upper Egypt“, 1802), was the foundation of modern Egyptology. “Finally, I believe that, among all the monuments of Syracuse that have survived the centuries, this one of the catacombs…
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The Affair of the Diamond Necklace – Harbinger of the French Revolution

The Affair of the Diamond Necklace – Harbinger of the French Revolution

On August 15, 1785, the Cardinal de Rohan was arrested and the ‘Affair of the Diamond Necklace‘, an extraordinary expensive piece of jewelry intended for Madame du Barry,[5] the maitresse of King Louis XV of France, became a public scandal that led to the French populace’s disillusionment with the monarchy, which, among other causes, eventually culminated in the French Revolution. Actually, the reputation of the Queen, which was already tarnished by gossip,…
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Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle and the Marseillaise

Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle and the Marseillaise

On April 25, 1792, French army officier Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle during the French Revolution composes the ‘Chant de guerre pour l’armée du Rhin‘ for the declaration of war against Austria. Under the name ‘La Marseillaise‘ his song later becomes the national anthem of France. Everybody knows the French National Anthem I’m pretty sure that almost everybody knows the French national anthem, the so-called Marseillaise, simply because of its numerous references throughout music…
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Encore un Moment – The Life of Madame Du Barry

Encore un Moment – The Life of Madame Du Barry

On April 22, 1769, Jeanne Bécu, comtesse du Barry, better known as Madame du Barry, was introduced at the French court. Originally being only a seamstress, Madame du Barry should become Maîtresse-en-titre of Louis XV of France and the most powerful woman in France. From Street Seller to Courtesan Madame du Barry was born in Lorraine, France and had to support herself financially at the age of 15 or 16. It is…
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General Thomas Alexandre Dumas – Napoleon’s ‘Black Devil’

General Thomas Alexandre Dumas – Napoleon’s ‘Black Devil’

On March 25, 1762, Thomas Alexandre Dumas was born. Dumas was the Father of the famous French author Alexandre Dumas [5] and the first black General in the French army. The story of his life should become the blueprint for his son’s most famous novels ‘The Count of Monte Christo‘ and ‘The Three Musketeers‘. “Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but…
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Modern Chemistry started with Antoine Lavoisier

Modern Chemistry started with Antoine Lavoisier

On August 26, 1743, French nobleman and chemist Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier was born. De Lavoisier is considered as one of the fathers of modern chemistry. “We must trust to nothing but facts: These are presented to us by Nature, and cannot deceive. We ought, in every instance, to submit our reasoning to the test of experiment, and never to search for truth but by the natural road of experiment and observation.”…
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Murder in the Bathtub – Jean Paul Marat and Charlotte Corday

Murder in the Bathtub – Jean Paul Marat and Charlotte Corday

On July 13, 1793, the ‘martyr of the revolution‘, Jean Paul Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday, a 24 year old woman. The physician, natural scientists, and political activist was a member of ‘the Mountain’, a group active during the French Revolution, and author of the radical newspaper ‘L’Ami du peuple’. “How could liberty ever have established itself amongst us? Apart from several tragic scenes, the revolution has been nothing but a web…
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