Analysis Of The Great Marmite Overturned And La Marmitte

1564 Words 7 Pages
The conflict between Catholics and Protestants in France assumed many forms. It was a physical conflict, but also an ideological one where both parties used propaganda to fight each other. Pamphlets and images where used by both the Catholics and the Protestant to discredit the adversary and rally people to their cause. The Great Marmite Overturned, Le Renversement de la grand marmite in French (Fig. 1), is one of those images. It is a woodcut, which was first produced in 1562 by an unknown artist, and is of Reformed inspiration.1 It represents a marmite being turned upside down by an angel, with members of the Catholic clergy trying to put it back in its place in vain. The woodcut also features a short text which illuminates the meaning of …show more content…
(Fig.2). As the latter was produced almost three decades after the former, it highlights the cultural and political relevance of the marmite as a symbol and an insult throughout the end of the sixteenth century. La Marmitte renversée des huguenots... depicts Henry III 's assassination in 1589: the king is trying to prevent the marmite from falling as the monk Jacques Clément is stabbing him in the stomach.9 The engraving uses similar imagery as The Great Marmite Overturned, for example the marmite looks like an inverted bell. However, this engraving, unlike The Great Marmite Overturned, is of Catholic inspiration, and it criticises the action of the Protestants, and all those opposed to the Guises and the League of Péronne they had revived to re-establish Catholicism as the only religion in the kingdom.10 This engraving therefore illuminates another meaning of the marmite: it is a metaphor for the kingdom, and the Protestants and their allies are depicted as pushing the marmite, thus of breaking the peace and destroying the kingdom. As the saying "the marmite has been overturned" means that dinner is not served in a house anymore, the Catholics are accusing the Protestants of starving France.11 If the marmite can also be a metaphor for the kingdom, then it takes a new dimension in The Great Marmite Overturned. On top of representing the decay of the Catholic institutions, it also represents the end of the Old

Related Documents