"chopping off heads"

Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (1758-1794) is one of the representative figures of the French Revolution, and especially the Reign of Terror that occurred at the height of it.

A very proper man in his personal habits, he spoke strongly in favor of the execution of King Louis XVI. During the food riots and other popular uprisings that followed the king’s death by guillotine in 1793, Robespierre was elected to the nine-member Committee of Public Safety.

Because of his influence as an orator, he became a de facto dictator who drove the Reign of Terror, during which 1,285 people were guillotined in Paris. When the tide turned against him, Robespierre and his friends died under the guillotine as well.

This 1890 oil painting of Robespierre is by an unknown artist.