by Jean-Jacques COURTEY, Doctor in Economic Geography, Ph.D
The reconstitution of Robespierre's face by modern forensic methods in UK, very recently caused a kind of controversy about Maximilien. He is showing another face like a glove back to front.
We usually have in mind some paintings at his advantage, yet not hiding he was basically ugly.
Is it true his skin was so ravaged for instance, worse than his colleague Jean-Paul Marat (1743 - 1793) ? We know he used rice powder to conceal the multiple imperfections of his skin, after a witness account of Paul François de Barras (1755 - 1829), who visited him at Duplay's home where he was living (398 rue Saint Honoré in Paris). Barras wanted his acknowledgment after he had been victorious against the royalist revolt of Toulon supported by the British (september - december 1793), with the efficient help of Captain Napoléon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821) : Barras even nominated him General of Brigade after this milestone event.
Coming back to Barras visit, the latter just got Robespierre threatening disdain and ...his spits on his feet, as he was just cleaning his teeth, without answering !
Maximilien, Marie, Isidore de Robespierre was already famous at his time for his repulsive look.
And this idea wasn't coming only from Olympe de Gouges (1748 - 1793), Louis XVI's secret tender friend since he freed her from La Bastille - and the baron of Breteuil (1730 - 1807) - in 1785.
As a matter of fact, no affair and not even a girlfriend are practically known to him.
He was a despiteful man, haughty and molded with arrogance. This also convinced the viscount of Barras to create quickly his committee to overthrow him and his regime of Terror, with Joseph Fouché (1759 - 1820), other members of the Convention, and the financial support of a royalist banker, the baron Petit du Petitval (1747 - 1796) - a previous ambassador of Louis XVI to China. Barras became after the nine Thermidor (July 27th, 1794), one of the five Directors of the New Regime of Directoire (1795 - 1799). As soon as Thermidor 10th, 1794, Barras like Robespierre previously, wanted to play a role in the escape and substitution of Louis XVII (Versailles 1785 - Skelton [UK] 1794 - + ?) from the Jail Temple of Paris, and this was the main reason of the help of baron Petit du Petitval to finance the Thermidorian reaction. Yet, Barras finally realized thereafter, that a British "black op" (code name "Robin Hood"), had been already successfully lead to conclusion before him - by the count of Courtenay and his assistant of the British Secret Services, Miss Barett !
Anyhow, with his British version face, Robespierre looks awful and even frightening : the reconstituted image of his face based upon his mortuary mask, is clearly suggesting a real look of psychopath.
Coming back to the Duplay boarding house, the daughter of the joiner Duplay was always surprised to discover his real face, when serving Robespierre : when he was back home, he used to scrap his face full of rice powder during almost an hour, while by-passing accurately the outlines of his wig from the Former Regime ("Ancien Régime"). This a little bit artless girl always felt embarrassed, and also frightened to discover his real and naked face, without the subtelty of the make up !
Consequently now on, some specialists of the French Revolution dislike this reconstituted face, which wouldn't be his !? In fact, he looks worse than Attila the Hun, as it strongly suggest a physionomy of "a mass murderer". So, they cannot bear it.
By the way, just to give a clue without exaggerating, didn't World History recognize him as a mass murderer who influenced a lot of tyrants since, like Pol Pot (1928 - 1998) in Kampuchea for instance, in 1975-1979 ? We wouldn't quote more than Lenine (1870 - 1924) or Trotsky (1879 - 1940) also, who praised Robespierre in his ideological will for the creation of "the New Man" (and "the New Woman").
But it is clear that a lot of tyrants all over the world got their bloody inspiration from Robespierre, and his complete lack of human emotions which was chilling : without conscience !
Saying Robespierre wasn't alone as an excuse, ....is not an excuse. And the fact Louis XVIII (1755 - 1824), who was deadly jealous of his sacrificed brother Louis XVI (1754 - 1793), even pensioned Robespierre's sister by recognition, can be quite puzzling.
Hence, praising openly such men, but the mean of education is highly disputable. It shouldn't be done. It is really questioning about the inmost depths of the human soul, and what some people would be ready to do still nowadays in the name of a mortiferous ideology - badly hiding the most basic instincts.
But sometimes, God's wrath can strike unexpectedly slaughtermen anywhere and anytime.
For instance, quite astonishingly, the "Comité de Salut Public" (Committee of Public Salute) which was sitting in the Queen's room of Tuileries, got a posthumous ironical wink from Queen Marie-Antoinette (1755 - 1793) during the Thermidorian reaction (July 27th and 28th, 1794), which ended up the Terror of Robespierre and his triumvirat !
As a matter of fact, it's not because a country is selling human rights like soap for washerwomen, that it means this country is respecting its own words. When a People has finally forgotten its dignity, if not waking up, it can lose easily its Liberty - almost inadvertently -, especially at a time of programmed "virtual reality" !
Barras himself was declaring about his political action during Thermidor, and equalilly as a Director :
"The honor is reserved to the founders of the freedom of nations, the opprobrium to the tyrants and to the slaves. Can the choice be doubtful for a soul which has of the height ?"
And the answer about Robespierre, is he wasn't only incredibly ugly outside, but also inside, as a strange and odd pawn of History.
From a moderate royalist at the beginning, and never really a republican, he evolved quickly to a tyrant : on June 1794, after the festival of the "Supreme Being" (him and not God !), he was aspiring in fact to create his own royal dynasty with the prisoner daughter of Louis XVI, Marie-Thérèse de France (1778 - 1851), having most likely abused her in the Jail Temple of Paris.
She remained traumatized for life, even after she was freed and exchanged against six revolutionary MPs, with the empire of Austria on December 19th, 1795, after the intervention of Barras - him again !
Do people remember the lessons of History ? We would like to answer yes, but we have to be realistic, as we know very well the answer is very probably no !
Nowadays, nobody would be ready to defend his own values in the name of Saint Denis and Saint John, like the Chouans of Vendée and the West of France (1793 - 1796). People feel crushed instead and they prefer to settle down resignedly in a mediocre and flat life, by contenting themselves with economic "electro-breaking" news, going from bad to still worse in an entertained stagnation.
So, they just nod the head when stimulated by the funny square of power "Paris - Brussels - Paris bis - Berlin", by highly ignoring "Ameropa" (a now very significant part of the 4,200 US companies have left, or are leaving for good France).
And there are not new Chouans, ready to stand up for their freedom and their dignity, but seemingly trostkysts or libertarians, ...half-concealed in their cosy comfort of real "Bourgeois". Neither any funny beatnik nor forgotten hippie are managing Economics, and obviously everything is falling down without any fantasy in this new "Big-Brotherland" ! The usual laughter goes down hard this time !
Through a little overplayed role of composition, the supposed "French province of Europe" would just do its economic and social "homeworks", and try to content Brussels, Paris bis, and the French People with the usual "Nova Lingua". Everything has apparently to change, so that nothing changes !
And yet since Barras, in a haunted, nervous, and stifling land still marked by the brand of ancient Terror, the Child of the Sacred Heart is alive, and the children of Brutus are not anymore !