Louis Ernest Meissonier

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Military art prints of Napoleon and his armies by French artist Louis Ernest Meissonier. 

Artist Information:  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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Napoleon on Campaign by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.


Napoleon on Campaign by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.

Showing Napoleon and his Generals, often referred to as the Retreat From Moscow.
Item Code : DHM0056Napoleon on Campaign by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. - Editions Available
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Officier de Cuirassier by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.


Officier de Cuirassier by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.

This is the study of the Cuirassier officer from the painting Cuirassiers Before the Charge at the Battle of Austerlitz.
Item Code : VAR0189Officier de Cuirassier by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. - Editions Available
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The Passing Regiment, 1875 by Jean Baptiste Edouard Detaille (GL)


The Passing Regiment, 1875 by Jean Baptiste Edouard Detaille (GL)

Item Code : GIBA1849The Passing Regiment, 1875 by Jean Baptiste Edouard Detaille (GL) - Editions Available
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The Siege of Paris by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.


The Siege of Paris by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.

The Siege of Paris lasted from September 19th 1870 to January 28th 1871, and borught about the French surrender and the end of the Franco-Prussian War.
Item Code : DHM1437The Siege of Paris by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. - Editions Available
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Friedland, 1807 by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.


Friedland, 1807 by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.

Napoleon with his general staff salutes a regiment of Cuirassiers who charge by during the Battle of Friedland.
Item Code : DHM0390Friedland, 1807 by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. - Editions Available
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Napoleon and his Staff by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.


Napoleon and his Staff by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.

Painted in 1868, Napoleon wears the uniform of the Chasseurs and is followed by his generals and an Egyptian Marmaluke (extreme left) Added, it was said, at the express wish of Lord Hereford who purchased the painting. It is now in the Wallace Collection.
Item Code : DHM0232Napoleon and his Staff by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. - Editions Available
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Napoleon III at Solferino by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.


Napoleon III at Solferino by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.

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 : DHM0238Napoleon III at Solferino by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. - Editions Available
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Petit Poste de Grand Garde, Hussars of the 8th Regiment by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.


Petit Poste de Grand Garde, Hussars of the 8th Regiment by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.

A scouting party of the 8th regiment of Hussars in Napoleons First Empire army are seen resting their horses and in discussion.
Item Code : DHM0316Petit Poste de Grand Garde, Hussars of the 8th Regiment by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. - Editions Available
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Marshall Saxe and His Troops by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.


Marshall Saxe and His Troops by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.

Marshall Saxe the French Marshall in charge of the French army during the War of Austrian Succession which included the Battles of Fontenoy and Dettingen.
Item Code : DHM0592Marshall Saxe and His Troops by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. - Editions Available
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Les Ordannces by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.


Les Ordannces by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.

Item Code : DHM0324Les Ordannces by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. - Editions Available
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La Vedette Des Dragons Sous Louis XV by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.


La Vedette Des Dragons Sous Louis XV by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.

A scout of the French Dragoons in the uniform of the time of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years War.
Item Code : DHM0315La Vedette Des Dragons Sous Louis XV by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. - Editions Available
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Austerlitz Before the Charge by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.


Austerlitz Before the Charge by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier.

A regiment of Cuirassiers stand awaiting orders during the Battle of Austerlitz during the Napoleonic war against Austria and Russia.
Item Code : DHM0314Austerlitz Before the Charge by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. - Editions Available
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