19th CenturyAntique PrintsFrenchHistoric PersonalitiesHistoryMusic

Rouget de Lisle sings the Marseillaise For the First Time

Historic 19th Century French Print, Framed in Period Frame

Rouget de Lisle, Composer of the Marseillaise, sings the French National Anthem for the first time

At one time, nearly every patriotic French home kept an image of this famous scene in which the composer Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, sings the Marseillaise (the French national anthem) for the first time. This wonderful old print was published by Wenzel of Wissembourg, a famous Alsacian firm which made vivid color lithographs, and children’s paper toys. Indeed there is something wonderfully simple and child like in the vibrant colors in this print.

Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle and the Marseillaise:
The national anthem of France was composed during a period of national and popular revolutions in Europe and in France. The caption reads “Rouget de Lisle, at the home of the Mayor of Strasbourg, sings for the first time the Marseillaise which he had just composed (1792).

The engineer and composer, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle was born in 1760 in Lons-le-Saunier.

In April 1792, Rouget de lisle was posted in Strasbourg. The King of Austria had just just declared war, and Rouget de Lisle composed a song he called “Chant de guerre de l’armée du Rhin” (The War Song of the Army of the Rhine). He sang it for the first time in the living room of Philippe de Dietrich, the Mayor of Strasbourg. This is the scene depicted in this image.

Although it was intended for the soldiers of the army of the Rhine, the song was printed and quickly spread across France, becoming very popular. When insurrectionist from Marseilles entered Paris in August 1792 to participate in the insurrection of the Tuileries, they sang Rouget de Lisle’s battle song. This is how Parisians came to call the song, the “Marseillaise.”

Wenzel of Wissembourg Printing Press: Founded by Wentzel in the 1835, the Wissembourg press in Alsace created brilliantly colored lithographs for the general public and for children. Wissembourg was a competitor of another well known producer of similar color lithographs, Epinal.

The text below the Print reads:
Lith. Wenzel, Wissembourg, Alsace, Gadola & Cie editeurs, 8 cours de Brosses, Lyon, Depose, V Gosselin a Paris.

Condition: The print is in good condition, but has a couple of tiny holes. These are in the white border around the image (not in the center of the picture.) The frame is in poor condition.

Dimensions: In frame, 14.5 X 11.5 inches