Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Guillotine in Art and Culture

This lovely piece of ephemera reminds me of a story I just came across in the book Eiffel's Tower: And the World's Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes.

As Jonnes tells it, when proposals were being solicited for designs for a spectacular centerpiece for the 1889 Parisian exposition celebrating 100 years of the republic--the winning proposal being, of course, what is now known as the Eiffel Tower--one of the unchosen proposals advocated the building of a "gigantic guillotine, so evocative of the very event being unofficially celebrated, the fall of the Bastille."

Image found at hypnerotomachi(n)a.

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