Horace Vernet (on verso) Oil on Canvas
Horace Vernet (on verso)
The artist was born in Paris, in the galleries of the Louvre on 30th June, 1789 where his parents were lodging during the occupation of the palace in the revolution. He attained early distinction and quickly developed a disdain for the classical school of David. He set about therefore to develop his own style and his taste led him to military subjects. Taking nature as his guide, Vernet depicted the French soldier as he really was rather than in an idealised fashion. His pictures Dog of the Regiment, Trumpeter`s Horse and Death of Poniatowski along with similar compositions gave him universal popularity. In 1819 he began to paint large battle scenes but though he worked on an immense scale and with the utmost speed, his figures and groupings were thoroughly artistic. In the past, artists had represented episodes in warfare but Vernet brought whole battlefields before his audience as in his famous Battle of Italy and Capture of Rome. Several of his well-known paintings represented battles of the French Revolution such as Valmy and Jemapes. One of his most famous pictures painted in 1826 entitled the Battle of the Bridge of Arcole showed the young Napoleon seizing a tattered flag and leading his men across the bridge on 17th November, 1796. He represented many of the victories of Napoleon including scenes of the emperor at the Battle of Jena, Friedland, and Wagram. During the Crimean War, he accompanied the French army and produced several important paintings including the Battle of the Alma exhibited in 1856. His Algerian battle pieces such as the Occupation by the French Army of the Pass of Mouzia, and the Capture of Smalah were well received as he had drawn the soldiers and the events from nature. Once when asked by Louis Napoleon to alter a picture of a military review leaving out a certain general who was obnoxious to the French emperor, Vernet refused to do it stating "I am a painter of history, sire and I will not violate the truth." Vernet died in Paris on 17th January, 1863.
Oil on Canvas 13"x16 1/2"