Women's March on Versailles

Women of Paris marching to Versailles, one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution
Women of Paris marching to Versailles, one of the earliest and most significant events of the French Revolution

Historical Context

The women's march began three months after the storming of the Bastille, in the markets of Paris amid anger at the price of and scarcity of bread. Before long the women were ransacking Paris' city hall, the Hôtel de Ville, for weapons and intent on marching to Versailles itself, 13 km away.

By the time the marchers had reached Versailles six hours later their numbers had swelled to ten thousand with men and soldiers joining them. They occupied the National Assembly and broke into the palace killing a few guards and nearly capturing Marie Antoinette.

They forced King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to appear to hear their grievances and only abandoned their protests when the king and queen agreed to abandon Versailles for Paris.

Painting Info


Location painted: Versailles, France

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France

Related Events

  • 1789-10-05 French Revolution: Women of Paris march to Versailles in the March on Versailles to confront Louis XVI about his refusal to promulgate the decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread, and have the King and his court moved to Paris

Historical Paintings