Tag Archive | Franco-prussian war

Combat Gallery Sunday: Le porte-drapeau de l’Armée

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sundays (when I feel like working), I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, photographers and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday: Le porte-drapeau de l’Armée

Jean-Baptiste Édouard Detaille was born in Paris in 1848, notably while Charles-Louis Napoléon Bonaparte was President and before the aforementioned leader seized power and proclaimed himself Napoleon III, the sole emperor of the Second French Empire.

Detaille, using family connections that dated back to the original Napoleon, studied with noted military painter Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier in the 1860s and traveled abroad to North Africa and the Mediterranean in his late teens, which helped influence his later work.

Detalille himself had served during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, as a young man, in the 8e Bataillon d’Infanterie Mobile, later attached to the staff of Gen, Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot, commander of the 2e Armee in defense of Paris. So you could say that the artist knew something of what he painted.

A mounted officer, 1877, via the Art Institute of Chicago

His two-volume/150 plate “L’Armee Francaise. Types et Uniformes,” published in 1885 (Paris, Boussod, Valson et Cie,) on Japanese paper, is an epic work of 19th Century uniforms. Many of these images come from that volume.

L’armée française – 1.er volume by Édouard Detaille vol 1 title page showing the old Napoleanic Army meeting the 1880s modern French infantry Credit line: (c) Royal Academy of Arts

Officier Indigene de Tirailleurs Algeriens

Sapeurs du Génie Tenue de Campagne

Grenadier de la Garde Impériale Rezonville, 1870

Hussards (Hussars)

French Carabiniers, 1806

French Ecole Spéciale Militaire, 1885

French Chasseur a Cheval

French cavalry

French campement de Zouaves, 1886

Etat-major d’un général de division

French hussards de l’Armée du Rhine, 1790s

Fantasia de Spahis

‘Officier de dragons.’; Édouard Detaille, Types et uniformes : l’armée française, https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/work-of-art/O27687
Credit line: (c) Royal Academy of Arts

French Tirailleurs Indigènes Grande Tenue

The Defense of Champigny during the Battle of Villiers, 1870. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. MET DT259753

click to bigup

Le rêve (The Dream), above, by Edouard Detaille, painted in 1888, depicts French soldiers asleep in their camp with the first rays of dawn on the horizon. These young conscripts of the Third Republic are seen during summer maneuvers, probably Champagne, at the time it painted. They dream of the glory of the Grand Armee of Napoleon, then of taking revenge for the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. This was one of the most popular propaganda pieces of the interwar period between 1871-1914 in France and indirectly helped stir the pot on WWI. It is currently at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

After the Russo-French Rapprochement in 1891, he took to covering the uniforms of the Republic’s newfound allies.

Carabiniers à Cheval en Russie, 1893

The Cossacks of the Imperial Russian Guard

He was busy working on uniform images right up until his last days.

Test uniforms created in 1912 by Édouard Detaille for the French line infantry. From left to right : trumpet in parade uniform, private in service uniform and kepi, private 1st class in parade uniform, private in service uniform and leather helmet, officer in parade uniform, officer in service uniform and bonnet de police (side cap), private in field uniform and leather helmet, private in field uniform and kepi. Via Musée de l’Armée/Wiki.

The artist died in 1912 in Paris, aged 64, only months before The Guns of August forever removed all of the romantic notions of beautiful uniforms with red trousers and shiny cuirasses from warfare.

Thank you for your work, sir.

Combat Gallery Sunday: The Martial Art of Emil Hünten

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sundays (when I feel like working), I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, photographers and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday: The Martial Art of Emil Hünten

Emil Johannes Hünten was born the son of a German composer residing in Paris on 19 January 1827. Studing at the at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, then later in Antwerp and Dusseldorf, he was a painter who specialized in oils on canvas. Choosing to cover historical subjects, his work on Fredrick the Great and his battles drew attention.

Emil Hünten (1827 - 1902) 5 Emil Hünten (1827 - 1902) 7
This led to Hunten being attached to the Prussian Army in the 1864 war with Denmark, the 1866 conflict with Austria and, in his magnum opus period, the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-71.

Emil Hünten (1827 - 1902) 9 Emil Hünten (1827 - 1902)

Marshall Forwards

Marshall Forwards

Emil Hünten (1827 - 1902) 8 4c22c4553812

Prussian Hussar

Prussian Hussar

Raid on rail line. Note the dead Prussian sentry.

Raid on rail line. Note the dead Prussian sentry.

Wounded Lifeguard

Wounded Lifeguard

Prussian Army Crown Prince and Chief of Staff Helmuth Moltke (the elder) meet at Battle of Königgrätz. Note our lifeguard from above is making a cameo

Prussian Army Crown Prince and Chief of Staff Helmuth Moltke (the elder) meet at Battle of Königgrätz. Note our lifeguard from above is making a cameo

Prussian Army Crown Prince and Chief of Staff (Generalstabschef) Helmuth Moltke

Prussian Army Crown Prince and Chief of Staff (Generalstabschef) Helmuth Moltke

He became a member of the Berlin Academy, was well liked, garnered numerous awards, and created some of the most memorable portraits of the German Kaisers out there before his death in 1902.

Hunten’s paintings hang throughout Europe, mostly in Germany.

Thank you for your work, sir.

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Alphonse de Neuville

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sunday, I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Alphonse de Neuville

Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville was born in 1835 at Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais and, growing up on the coast, entered naval school at age 21. However, he always had an eye for the pencil and the brush and by 1860 was completing military-themed paintings and sketches that soon became widely received.

He illustrated several books including one that was very far-reaching for its time.

Although submersible were more fiction than fact at the time, de Neuville was able to combine his nautical background with his art to craft haunting illustrations of life under the ocean in a modern attack submarine in 1870 for the Hetzel editions of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The 111 drawings in that work (!) by de Neuville even today harken to adventure, naval warfare, and sci-fi from the true steampunk era.

illustration-Hetzel-editions-Twenty-Thousand-Leagues-inkbluesky 0521_20kleagues484

Nautilus engines

Nautilus engines

20000

8227e6842abbaa83e0f89a7eb362eaac

In 1871, France was defeated (handily) by the Prussians and that lost war provided de Neuville steady work in immortalizing the lost armies and battles of that conflict.

Neuville_Alphonse_Marie_de-ZZZ-An_Episode_from_the_Franco-Russian_War_(The_Garret_in_Champigny_in_November_1870)

Le cimetière de Saint-Privat, le 18 août 1870.

Le cimetière de Saint-Privat, le 18 août 1870.

Défense de la porte de Longboyau, 21 octobre 1870

Défense de la porte de Longboyau, 21 octobre 1870

"Uhlan et cuirassier de la brigade Von Bredow, morts, " Showing a Dead Prussian Uhlan and Cuirassier, Franco-Prussian war. On exhibit at the Musée des Invalides, Paris.

“Uhlan et cuirassier de la brigade Von Bredow, morts, ” Showing a Dead Prussian Uhlan and Cuirassier, Franco-Prussian war. “Von Bredow’s Death Ride” in which some 800~ Prussian horsemen charged the French lines with surprising results was one of the last effective use of Napoleonic-style cavalry in modern warfare. On exhibit at the Musée des Invalides, Paris.

Bataille de Champigny (1870)

Bataille de Champigny (1870). Note the dead Prussian officer in the foreground, sword in hand

Alphonse de Neuville - The Attack at Dawn

Alphonse de Neuville – The Attack at Dawn

Alphonse de Neuville - In the Trenches

Alphonse de Neuville – In the Trenches. Note the broken rifle. The desperation. You feel the cold of that 1870 winter.

Perhaps his most famous painting of this war was Les dernières cartouches (The Last Cartridges) which immortalize the stand by a group of French Marines of the Blue Division at Bazeilles on 31 August and 1 September 1870 during the Battle of Sedan.

“The Last Cartridges” by Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville note zouave and shattered rifle

“The Last Cartridges” by Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville note the Tunisian Zouave and shattered rifle

That imagery became famous in France and has been both widely imitated and reproduced in the past century and change.

Tableau-Dernie_re-cartouche-reproduction

One of the few Georges Méliès films (he made more than 500) that remains in existence is based on the painting and was created in 1897.

Alphonse de Neuville also did an extensive study of the French army uniforms of the era, which serve as a reference and a window into that era to this day.

Sergent of the 9th

Sergent of the 9th

Dragoons, mounted

Dragoons, mounted

Sapper

Sapper

French Cuirassiers

French Cuirassiers

Dragons - Alphonse de Neuville

Dragons – Alphonse de Neuville

A French Military Engineer by Alphonse Marie Adolphe de Neuville

A French Combat Engineer by Alphonse Marie Adolphe de Neuville. Note the detail on the Chassepot 1866 Needle rifle and how the officer in charge of the detail has his eyes glued on the engineer standing sentry with a cigarette in his hand and not on the work party. In the below sketch, that background detail is different

A French Military Engineer by Alphonse Marie Adolphe de Neuville pencil

A French Military Engineer by Alphonse Marie Adolphe de Neuville in pencil– and with the officer minding the work and not the smoker

Our artist also tried his hands at other conflicts of the era.

Alphonse de Neuville - The defence of Rorke's Drift 1879

Alphonse de Neuville – The defence of Rorke’s Drift 1879

Neuville died in Paris on May 18, 1885 at the untimely age of 49. His work is widely exhibited.

The artist

The artist

Thank you for your work, sir.

The Dream…

click to bigup

click to bigup

 

Le rêve (The Dream), by Edouard Detaille, painted in 1888, depicts French soldiers asleep in their camp with the first rays of dawn on the horizon. These young conscripts of the Third Republic are seen during summer maneuvers, probably Champagne, at the time it painted. They dream of the glory of the Grand Armee of Napoleon, then of taking revenge for the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.

Detalille himself had served, as a young man, in the 8e Bataillon d’Infanterie Mobile, during that war and was attached to the staff of Gen, Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot, commander of the 2e Armee in defense of Paris. So you could say that the artist knew something of what he painted.

This was one of the most popular propaganda pieces of the interwar period between 1871-1914 in France and indirectly helped stir the pot on WWI.

It is currently at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris

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