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Saturday Art: Horace Vernet

Hunting at the Pontine Marshes by Vernet

Hunting at the Pontine Marshes by Vernet

The Dog of the Regiment Wounded by Vernet

The Dog of the Regiment Wounded by Vernet

(Picture courtesy of snapshooter46 at flickr.com.)

Battle de Bouvines, Château de Versailles, France by Vernet

Battle de Bouvines, Château de Versailles, France by Vernet

(Picture courtesy of fmpgoh at flickr.com.)

Born into a family of artists, Vernet was known for hunting and battle scenes, and was very much part of the royal household in his work and life.

He was born in the Paris Louvre, while his parents were staying there during the French Revolution. Vernet quickly developed a disdain for the high-minded seriousness of academic French art influenced by Classicism, and decided to paint subjects taken mostly from contemporary culture. Therefore, he began depicting the French soldier in a more familiar, vernacular manner rather than in an idealized, Davidian fashion. Some of his paintings that represent French soldiers in a more direct, less idealizing style, include Dog of the Regiment, Trumpeter’s Horse, and Death of Poniatowski.

He gained recognition during the Bourbon Restoration for a series of battle paintings commissioned by the duc d’Orleans, the future King Louis-Philippe. Critics marvelled at the incredible speed with which he painted.[2] Many of his paintings made during this early phase of his career were “noted for their historical accuracy as well as their charged landscapes.”[3] Examples of paintings in this style include the Battle of Valmy, the Battle of Jemappes, and the Battle of Montmirail.

Over the course of his long career, Horace Vernet was honoured with dozens of important commissions. King Louis-Philippe was one of his most prolific patrons.[2] His depictions of Algerian battles, such as the Capture of the Smahla and the Capture of Constantine, were well-received, as they were vivid depictions of the French army in the heat of battle. After the fall of the July Monarchy during the Revolution of 1848, Vernet discovered a new patron in Napoléon III of France. He continued to paint representations of the heroic French army during the Second Empire and maintained his commitment to representing war in an accessible and realistic way. He accompanied the French Army during the Crimean War, producing several paintings, including one of the Battle of the Alma, which was not as well received as his earlier paintings. One well known and possibly apocryphal anecdote maintains that when Vernet was asked to remove a certain obnoxious general from one of his paintings, he replied, “I am a painter of history, sire, and I will not violate the truth,” hence demonstrating his fidelity to representing war truthfully.

His depiction of the life around him seems to have been almost inevitable.   His stature among artists seems to have been obscure, as he was more part of the court than of the art world.

(Picture courtesy of institutnationaldhistoiredelart at flickr.com.)

 Battle of Isly by Vernet


Battle of Isly by Vernet

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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.

  • Ruth

    morning, pups, this is an artist more distinguished for monumental art than ‘soul’, but lots of good animal representations. Hope all of you are having a good early summer.

  • Beverly Lawson

    Good Morning All and Thanks, Ruth. Wonderful pictures. We have a very rainy morning and probably same for the weekend. Hope the sun will come out..;)

  • Ruth

    Raining here all week – getting me ready for my coming trip to London. It’s easier to pack reasonable stuff to wear here in NW PA, in N.TX. it was going from t-shirt to sweatshirt stuff.

  • Rachel

    Thank you Ruth, I learned something new today because I had never heard of this artist. The paintings are lovely, and the first odd thought that struck me was- I wonder how long it took for the soldiers to dress themselves. The outfits appear elaborate!

  • Ruth

    Funny, I think that the uniforms were supposed to be like Red Cross insignia, so folks would know not to shoot them – unless they were the Other side.
    And there were contractors then, too, no doubt.

  • Ruth

    Errands to run, will check back later
    Thanks for good company.

  • Marion in Savannah

    Good morning, pups. Today we have Nocera and Collins. Mr. Nocera has a question in “Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Audition:” After union-busting in his home state, what would he do if he became president? [shudder] The mind boggles. Ms. Collins also has a question in “Guns in Your Face:” How would you react if the man in front of you in the Starbucks line had a gun dangling from his shoulder? Me? I’d get the fck out of there. (Starbucks coffee sucks anyway…)

    HERE they are, and

    HERE’s Krugman’s blog.

    The coffee and tea are ready, and I’ve got French toast with fresh berries this morning. We had a torrential downpour, replete with crashing thunder, yesterday. I tried to convince 2 of the cats to come in as the thunder started, before the rain, but they decided they’d MUCH rather be outside. Talk about wet, draggled, pissed off cats on the porch… Time to get started on the day. Have a great day.

  • http://www.hudechrome.com Lawrence Hudetz

    Good morning!

    Thanks for the presentation, Ruth. I particularly responded to “Battle de Bouvines, Château de Versailles, France by Vernet”, especially it’s installation. The photographer got it right as well, all the lines parallel and square. Takes very particular attention to positioning detail, starting with getting the camera exactly centered. These digital days can violate the alignment rules but most of us would rather get it right at the beginning.

  • Alice X

    Morning all – I’m too burnt out today by the political doings of yesterday to bring much. Very bad news indeed.

    The Golden Rule (though I am an atheist)

    From Hillel the Elder: that which is hateful to you, do not do unto others.

    But in practice, people offer lofty principles – then apply them selectively.

  • Canyon2

    Good morning everyone.
    Thank you for the post and pictures Ruth.
    I see you have left the scene by the time I got here and now I read that you are off to London. Good for you. You are becoming a globetrotter and that is good to do it while you are healthy.

  • Canyon2

    Alice X, I agree with you, there is too much drama going on and the only way it will end is if more D’s and Progressives turn over this apple cart.
    Me, Bernie Sanders has my vote and it is interesting that the attack squads are already in motion to destroy his candidacy.

  • Ruth

    thanks, Marion, yes, Walker is scary, but the voters that chose to keep some one who lied to get his office, and did the opposite of what he said he would, whose staff committed crimes and went to jail, those scare me the most

  • Ruth

    thanks, good thoughts.

  • Ruth

    That’s exactly right, I’ve seen my own family wait too late to do what they wanted to, and it spurs me to get out there, now, and do what I don’t want a life to go by without.

  • Ruth

    Just have to get away sometimes, myself.
    And yes, we love to hear/talk about great ways to behave, then forget them when it’s inconvenient.