Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Bara (1794). Oil on canvas, 119 x 156 cm. Musée Calvet, Avignon.
‘Only the French’, declared the Convention’s leader, Robespierre, ‘have thirteen-year-old heroes.’ This distinctly dubious compliment referred to the boy Joseph Bara, who disguised himself as a hussar in order to accompany Republican troops against rebel forces. News of his death reached Paris late in 1793, and under pressure to acknowledge popular feeling and protect his government, Robespierre insisted on full Pantheon honours for the boy. (www.wga.hu).