The imaginary scene gives a positive interpretation of the 14th of July. After the capture of the Bastille, two freed prisoners – the one on the right resembling the Comte de Lorges – are welcomed by the liberal Duke of Orléans. The Bastille has been transformed from the stronghold of despotism to the seat of Liberté, who – standing on the books of the Enlightenment – is haloed by the rising sun of freedom. Across from her sets the sun of tyranny, surrounded by instruments of torture and execution. The Bourbon king in the middle kneels in simple dress, as if expressing gratitude for the revolutionary events.
"Der Sturz des Despotismus", coloured etching, 44.7 x 54.6 cm, United Kingdom, 18 August 1789, unknown artist, publisher: William Holland; source: Prometheus – Das verteilte Bildarchiv für Forschung und Lehre, Lexikon der Revolutions-Ikonographie, Justus Liebig Universität Gießen, Historisches Institut, https://prometheus-bildarchiv.de/de/ (fee for access).