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Sunday, 13 October 2013

"Waterloo" by Ernest Crofts

I tripped over this picture of Old Bone on the internet. I was quite impressed, my eye was drawn to the foreground action with the repairs to the artillery piece and following the column up the road to Napoleon on a white horse against the skyline. My first thoughts were this is a very nice painting, well executed, late 19th century French painting, a bit of late hero worship. Then I was surprised to find the artist was Ernest Crofts, an Englishman who painted during the Edwardian period when most Brits were painting Wellington.

This second painting is one I admire. It is by Jean Louis Meissonier, titled "1814 Campaign in France" and was painted in 1864. It shows Napoleon Bonaparte on the march during the spring of 1814, when he was seriously outnumbered by Alliance troops, possibly on the same horse or is he always painted riding a white horse? During this campaign, the young Napoleon shone through and he gave the Allies several bloody noses, but numbers told in the end.

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