Joan of Arc Pictures

Joan of Arc at the Fortress of Tournelles
Joan of Arc at the Fortress of Tournelles. Getty Images / Hulton Archives / from the History of England by Henry Tyrrell about 1860
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Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc, from photoengraving, 1880. © Jone Johnson Lewis, 1999
Just as the 20th century has seen many different portrayals of Joan of Arc in film, earlier centuries envisioned Joan of Arc in many different portrayals in art. Here's a nineteenth century version, from about 1880 from a photoengraving by Mme. Zoe-Laure de Chatillon. She is depicted in women's dress, which is anachronistic in style, and unusual given the charges against Joan for wearing men's clothing.

Click on the image above to see a larger version of the engraving.

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Joan of Arc Meets the Dauphin

Joan of Arc enters Chinon
Joan of Arc enters Chinon for an audience with the Dauphin. Getty Images / Hulton Archive

Born near the end of The Hundred Years War between the French and the English, Joan of Arc lived in a small village in an area that remained under control of the French rather than of the English, who controlled Paris and had the city of Orléans under seige. The English claimed the crown of France for the son of Henry V of England and the French claimed it for the son of Charles VI of France (the Dauphin), each of whom had died in 1422.

Joan of Arc testified at her trial that she had been visited from the age of 12 by visions and voices of three saints (Michael, Catherine and Margaret) who told her to help drive the English out and have the Dauphin crowned at the Cathedral at Reims. She finally was able to get support to go to Chinon to the Dauphin and speak with him there.

In this image, Joan of Arc is entering Chinon, depicted here already in armor, to tell the king that he was to put her in charge of France's army and then she would lead it to victory over the English.

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Joan of Arc in Armor

Joan of Arc in Armor
Joan of Arc in Armor. Getty Images

Joan of Arc is shown in armor in this artist's depiction. She led French troops to help the Dauphin become the King of France, in which he was opposed by the British whose king claimed to have the right to the French succession.

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Joan of Arc at the Fortress of Tournelles

Joan of Arc at the Fortress of Tournelles
Joan of Arc at the Fortress of Tournelles. Getty Images / Hulton Archives / from the History of England by Henry Tyrrell about 1860

In one of her victories, Joan of Arc led the French on May 7, 1429, in storming the fortress of Tournelles, which the English were occupying. A letter written on April 22 includes Joan's prophecy that she would be wounded in this engagement, and she was struck by an arrow during the battle. Five hundred English were killed in the battle or while escaping. With this battle, the seige of Orléans was ended.

This battle followed by a day Joan's successful battle at the Bastille des Augustins, where the French captured six hundred prisoners and freed two hundred French prisoners.

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Joan of Arc Triumphant

Joan of Arc Triumphant
Joan of Arc Triumphant. Getty Images / Hulton Archive

In 1428, Joan of Arc convinced the Dauphin of France to let her fight for him against the English who were claiming the right to the crown of France for their young king. In 1429, she led the troops in a victory driving the English from Orleans. This later artist's conception depicts her triumphant entry into Orleans.

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Joan of Arc at Reims

Joan of Arc Reims Cathedral
Bronze statue of Joan of Arc facing the entrance of Reims cathedral, France. Statue by Paul Dubois was unveiled in 1896. © Peter Burnett via iStockphoto, used with permission

A statue of Joan of Arc faces the entrance of Notre-Dame Cathedral at Reims. It is in this cathedral that the Dauphin was crowned King of France as Charles VII on July 17, 1429. This was one of the four promises Joan of Arc is said to have made to the Dauphin: to force the English to leave France in defeat, to have Charles anointed and crowned at Reims, to rescue the Duke of Orléans from the English, and to end the siege of Orléans.

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Joan of Arc Saved France

Joan of Arc Saved France
World War I Women of America Poster. Courtesy Library of Congress

In this World War I poster, the image of Joan of Arc is used to show that women on the homefront have an important patriotic role equivalent to Joan's military leadership: in this case, women are being urged to buy war savings stamps.

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Joan of Arc Statue

Joan of Arc - Notre Dame Cathedral
Joan of Arc statue in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France. istockphoto / ranplett

Joan of Arc led French troops in a successful charge to relieve Orleans in April 1429, and her success helped inspire Charles VII to be crowned in July. That September, Joan inspired an attack on Paris which failed, and Charles signed a treaty with the Duke of Burgundy which kept him from military action.

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Joan of Arc Burned at the Stake

Joan of Arc Burned at the Stake
Joan of Arc Burned at the Stake - 19th Century Image. © 2010 Clipart.com

Joan of Arc, one of the patron saints of France, was canonized in 1920. Captured by the Burgundians who were opposing the Dauphin's claim on the French throne, Joan was turned over to the English who charged her with heresy and sorcery. Joan refused to admit that the charges against her were true, but signed a general admission of fault, and promised to wear female dress. When she recanted, she was considered a relapsed heretic. Though the Church court technically should not have been able to pass a sentence of death, it did, and she was burned at the stake on May 30, 1431.

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Saint Joan of Arc

Saint Joan of Arc
Saint Joan of Arc. Getty Images / The Palma Collection

Burned at the stake in 1431 for insubordination and heterodoxy, Joan of Arc had been tried and found guilty by a church council under control of a Bishop appointed under English occupation. In the 1450s, an appeal authorized by the Pope found Joan innocent. In the following century, Joan of Arc became a symbol of the Catholic League of France, dedicated to stopping the spread of Protestantism in France. In the 19th century, original manuscripts connected with the trial resurfaced, and the Bishop of Orléans took up the cause of Joan, leading to her beatification by the Roman Catholic Church in 1909. She was canonized on May 16, 1920.