MT: albumen print on paper mounted on card (9x5 / C:11x6)
TX: printed at lower left of margin in French <Neurdein.>, at right <Déposé>, inscribed with fountain pen at lower center of picture <Louis XVI>, inscribed with pencil at rear upper left <Louis XVI>, printed at center below <PORTRAITS HISTORIQUES, / NEURDEIN / Editeur Photographe. / Place de la Bourse, / 8,Rue des Filles St Thomas, / PARIS. / 502>, stamped below <MAISON / ALPH. GIROUX>
CM: Louis XVI (23 August 1754 - 21 January 1793) ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1774 until 1791, and then as King of the French from 1791 to 1792. Suspended and arrested during the Insurrection of 10 August, he was tried by the National Convention, found guilty of treason, and executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793. He was the only king of France to be executed. Although Louis was beloved at first, his indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to eventually view him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the Ancien Régime. After the abolition of the monarchy in 1792, the new republican government gave him the surname Capet, a reference to the nickname of Hugh Capet, founder of the Capetian dynasty, which the revolutionaries wrongly interpreted as a family name. He was also informally nicknamed Louis le Dernier (Louis the Last), a derisive use of the traditional nicknaming of French kings. Today, historians and French people in general have a more nuanced view of Louis XVI, who is seen as an honest man with good intentions, but who was probably unfit for the herculean task of reforming the monarchy, and who was used as a scapegoat by the revolutionaries [Pouvait-on rιformer la monarchie?]. § Louisville, Kentucky is named for Louis XVI. In 1780, the Virginia General Assembly bestowed this name in honor of the French king, whose soldiers were aiding the American side in the Revolutionary War. The Virginia General Assembly saw the King as a noble man, but many other continental delegates disagreed. On the whole, Americans had a low opinion of Louis, which was fueled by the enormous gap between the First/Second Estates and the Third Estate under the Ancien Régime, clearly a mirror of their own political situation before the American Revolution.