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Napoleon III at Solferino by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. (Y)


Napoleon III at Solferino by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. (Y)

The Battle of Solferino, fought on 24th of June 1859 was the last battle at which both armies were commanded by their monarch; the French army commanded by Napoleon III and his Allies Victor Emmanuel II and his Sardinian Army were victorious over the Austrian Army commanded by Emperor Franz Joseph.
Item Code : DHM0238YNapoleon III at Solferino by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. (Y) - This Edition
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EX-DISPLAY
PRINT
**Open edition print. (One copy reduced to clear)

Ex-display prints with small dent on image and slight marks on the broder.
Image size 30 inches x 18 inches (76cm x 46cm)noneHalf
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Other editions of this item : Napoleon III at Solferino by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.DHM0238
TYPEEDITION DETAILSSIZESIGNATURESOFFERSYOUR PRICEPURCHASING
PRINTOpen edition print. Image size 30 inches x 18 inches (76cm x 46cm)none20 Off!Now : 40.00VIEW EDITION...
PRINTOpen edition print. Image size 12 inches x 7 inches (31cm x 18cm)noneAdd any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout!14.00VIEW EDITION...
GICLEE
CANVAS
Limited edition of 200 giclee canvas prints. Image size 36 inches x 24 inches (91cm x 61cm)noneAdd any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout!500.00VIEW EDITION...
GICLEE
CANVAS
Limited edition of 200 giclee canvas prints. Image size 30 inches x 18 inches (76cm x 46cm)noneAdd any two items on this offer to your basket, and the lower priced item will be half price in the checkout!390.00VIEW EDITION...
General descriptions of types of editions :



Artist Details : Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier
Click here for a full list of all artwork by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier

Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier

Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier Born in Lyons on 20th February, 1813, he served for a short period in a chemist shop but his interest in art quickly became apparent to his parents who arranged for him to enter the studios of various artists. He first exhibited at the Salon in 1835 and became a regular exhibitor throughout the 1840's and 1850's showing various non-military scenes. However, these pictures were enough to establish his reputation and he was invited by Napoleon 111 to join the Imperial Staff on the expedition to Italy in 1859. Inspired by what he witnesses, Meissonier began to paint military scenes from the war such as The Emperor at Solferino, which was shown at the 1864 Salon, and The Emperor and his staff. Six years later, France went to war with Prussia and the emperor once again turned to Meissonier for his services. While initially accepting the offer, the artist soon became discouraged by the growing defeats of the army and declined to become further involved but not before narrowly escaping being besieged in Metz. It was at this time that he developed his penchant for Napoleonic subjects as a way of glorifying France's military past in the wake of the disastrous defeat in 1871 and the subsequent horrors of the Paris Commune. Inspired by the first Napoleon, Meissonier developed the idea of creating a cycle of pictures dramatising the great soldier from his rise to his fall. The five pictures would each depict a moment in the emperor's life during the years 1796, 1807, 1810, 1814 and 1815, but in fact only three canvases were finished. In his picture, 1807, the artist depicted a moment during the final phase of the battle of Friedland when the Emperor and his staff reviewed the 12th Regiment of Cuirassiers as they charged past. For 1814, he arranged for horses to be marched back and forth in snow and mud so that he could sketch - and became quite ill in the process. In the picture, a grim-faced Napoleon leads his disheveled troops in retreat to avoid confrontation with the enemy. These pictures established him as perhaps one of the greatest military painters France had ever seen and he was a major source of inspiration to Detaille and de Neuville before he died in Paris on 31st January, 1891.

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 The year is 1807, the French Empire is at the pinnacle of its power. Although not yet 38 years of age the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is marching towards the heights of his military career. It is the anniversary of his great victory against the Austrians at Marengo seven years before. Since then the soldiers of The Grand Armee have faithfully followed The Little Corporal from victory to victory across Europe.  Now, in eastern Prussia, the Russians alone are holding out against the might of France. Bennigsens army is strung out on a four mile front along the banks of the river Alle, near the town of Friedland. With their backs to the unfordable river the brave Russian soldiers are drawn up in a poor position to give battle.  It is already midday when Napoleon arrives on the field. Much of the French force is still some miles away but the commanders keen eye immediately perceives an opportunity for victory. He decides to attack. The vigourous assault on the Russian lines commences at about 5.30 pm. Bennigsen, anticipating an engagement on the following day, is completely surprised by this ferocious attack so late in the afternoon. The fighting begins as his divisions are preparing to withdraw across the river Alle, to a stronger position. Napoleons master stroke throws the enemy into confusion. By 8.30 pm the French are masters of the field, the Russians have lost nearly a third of their army and 80 cannons. The town of Friedland is ablaze and the Tsars army in full retreat.  In simple attire and characteristically astride a nimble arab grey, Napoleon Bonaparte rides forward with his reserves of the Guard to survey the final victory.  Within a few days the defeated Tsar Alexander will embrace the French Emperor on a raft anchored in the middle of the Niemen at Tilsit. At their monumental meeting they will talk of peace, co-operation against the British, the division of Prussian Territories and France with Russia will form their uneasy alliance that will quickly collapse into open hostility and present Napoleon with his greatest challenge: The invasion of Russia itself.

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