October’s almanac - Republican Calendar, 1794
Debucourt originally published this highly finished calendar as a pair to another print, 'The French Republic with the Declaration of the Rights of Man'.
The pairing of prints had become fashionable during this period. In 1791, a French dictionary stated that ‘today people almost only buy prints as furnishings and no engraver can be sure of a successful sale of a plate if he does not accompany it with a pair.’
The figure of Philosophy is seated on a marble throne, recording the principles of the new calendar in the book of Nature. The text along the bottom describes the objects at her feet – including books and prints and the Gregorian calendar – as ‘the gothic monuments of error and superstition on which the ignorant and ridiculous division of time was founded.’
By Rachel Jacobs, curator.