He was the “incorruptible” who orchestrated the Great Terror.
Maximilien de Robespierre (1758-1794) was the mastermind of the Reign of Terror (1793-1794), the dark side of the French Revolution that perverted its high ideals of democracy with fanaticism and cruelty. Only Robespierre’s own beheading ended the slaughter.
A man of stern virtue and morality, he was a small town lawyer who made his name at the opening of the revolution but turned radical with the pressures of power. His early enlightened views were eclipsed by his fanaticism as he was engulfed by the Revolution.
Portrait by artist-historian George Stuart.
Courtesy Museum of Ventura County.
Images © copyright by Peter d'Aprix