Parisians… Guinguettes and Revolutions

Musée CarnavaletThe Musée Carnavalet takes a look at working-class Paris from the end of the French Revolution to the First World War with an exhibition titled “Le Peuple de Paris au XIX Siecle, des guinguettes aux barricades” (The People of Paris in the 19th century. Guinguettes and revolutions). The exhibition, with illustrations, photos by Eugene Atget and Charles Negre, objects and instruments, period clothes, and paintings and drawings by Honoré Daumier, examines 19th century Parisian daily life.

Via a series of themes we get to know the living and working conditions of ordinary Parisians: What kind of accommodations did they have? What did they eat? How did they dress? And how did they enjoy themselves? The exhibition is a chance to discover a social group that has obtained nearly mythical status in notions of Paris since the 1789 Revolution. We learn that by 1846 Paris had over a million inhabitants with many living in small rented rooms without running water. Far from setting out to provide a picturesque, idealized portrait, this exhibition looks into such aspects of Paris’ history as abandoned children, fear of hospitals, life in the slums and finally with times when the Parisian working-class revolted (the “Trois Glorieuses” of 1830, the uprisings of 1848 and the Pairs Commune of 1871).

Le Peuple de Paris au XIX Siecle, des guinguettes aux barricades, to Febuary 26, 2012. Musée Carnavalet, 23, rue de Sévigné, 75003, Paris //carnavalet.paris.fr