Collection: Les Incroyables et Merveilleuses

Les Incroyables et Merveilleuses


The Fashionable Post-Revolutionary Set
Paris Circa 1796


After the fall of Robespierre and the end of the Terror, a wave of relief and of fashion giddiness swept Paris.


Young men known as "Incroyables" and their female counterparts "Les Merveilleuses" rejoiced in adopting a wildly exaggerated look which flouted the social conventions of the time. They were the ultimate dandy set, the golden youth of their time, arrogant and outrageous. (See Attributes of an Incroyable, opposite for more on their attire).


Some of the Incroyables, known as Muscadins (because of their heavy musk perfume), had a dark side. They organized into bands and roamed the streets using their bludgeons and canes to harass the revolutionary Jacobins.


Shown on this page are two original 19th Century hand colored copperplate engravings by Carle Vernet, three by his son Horace Vernet, and the engraving "Point de Convention" by Louis-Léopold Boilly (1797).

These original period engravings are available for sale. Click on the images for further detail about each.



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A number of these images are available as reproduction prints through our Zazzle Antique Images shop






Les Incroyables - Carle Vernet Les Merveilleuses - Carle Vernet


Attributes of the
Homme Incroyable

  • Ribbons on the trousers just above the boots or leggings.

  • A bicorne hat insouciantly flipped up at the front and back

  • Impossibly high collars and impossibly wide lapels

  • Very tight trousers

  • Pirate's gold ring in one ear

  • Elaborate sausage curls called "dogs ears."

  • Haircut à la victime, short at the nape of the neck, copying the haircut given those about to be sent to the guillotine

  • A cane or cudgel held in the hand and referred to as the "executive power."

  • Suppress the "R" (as in Revolution) in all words and exclaim regularly « C’est incoyable! ».
Point de Convention - Louis-Leopold Boilly
An "Incroyable" by Horace Vernet
A Merveilleuse in Her Ball Gown
by Horace Vernet
An Incroyable by Horace Vernet

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