Self-Portrait in Rome, 1832. Creator: Horace Vernet (French, 1789-1863)
Self-Portrait in Rome, 1832. Vernet stands before the Villa Medici, seat of the French Academy in Rome, where he was director from 1829 to 1835. The palette, brushes, and maulstick on the stepladder hint at his talent for painting large canvases. The artist's sideward glance, disheveled hair, and burning cigarette lend him a romantic aura. The recipient of numerous commissions for military paintings, Vernet was patronized by Jerome Bonaparte (the youngest brother of Napoleon) and later taught at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
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'Napoleon', c19th century. Artist: Horace Vernet
'Napoleon', c19th century. Napoleon Bonaparte, French general and Emperor. (1769-1821) enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks of the French Revolutionary army. In 1799 he led a coup to overthrow the government, the Directory, and became first consul and effective dictator of France. In 1804, he declared himself Emperor, and began a series of military campaigns across Europe, the Napoleonic Wars. Victories such as Austerlitz and Jena led to France establishing its power across much of the continent. In 1812, however, Napoleon embarked on a disastrous invasion of Russia and defeat at Leipzig in 1813 led to his abdication and exile to Elba. He ecaped in 1815, raised another army, but was finally defeated by Wellington at Waterloo, and exiled again to St Helena. From The Studio Volume 14 by Ralph Nevill. [London Offices of the Studio, London, 1898]
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'The Battle of Valmy', 20 September, 1792, (1826). Artist: Horace Vernet
'The Battle of Valmy', 20 September, 1792, (1826). At this battle a mixture of French regulars and conscripts, under General Francois Kellerman, faced an army of Brunswick veterans. Although twice the number of the enemy, the French were unsure of the loyalty of the pre-revolution trained troops and the courage of the newcomers. The Duke of Brunswick's regulars, however, did not get to prove their superiority as excellent shelling from the highly skilled French artillery kept them at bay and eventually forced them from the field. Casualities for both sides were about 300 men. Part of the collection at The National Gallery, London.
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