©Wellcome Library, London

Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, was beheaded on 16 October 1793. In this illustration, she kneels next to her confessor. The unpopular Queen, dubbed ‘l'Autrichienne' (the Austrian woman) by the French people, was one of 3000 victims of ‘Madame Gullotine' during just a few months of the Reign of Terror or ‘Red Mass' as it came to be known. Eventually, it was believed that executions were ordered deliberately to provide entertainment for the populace.

Line engraving with etching. Published by Thomas Kelly, London 1815.