Fighting for Napoleon

Pamela Spencer draws attention to a new exhibition opening at the Wallace Collection.

What was life like for a soldier in Napoleon’s army? What links Marble Arch with the Wellington Arch? How did Napoleon and Wellington fare in their legendary clash? These questions, and many more, can be answered by a visit to London’s Wallace Collection at Hertford House on Saturday 19th June, when a free Special Event Day marks the opening of the exhibition, ‘Fighting for Napoleon’, running from June 18th until September 12th. 

Central to the exhibition, and on loan from the National Gallery, will be two battle paintings by Horace Vernet: ‘The Battle of Hanau’ (1813) and ‘The Battle of Montmirail’ (1814).

The paintings had both been owned by Sir Richard Wallace, having been bought by Sir Richard’s father, the 4th Marquis of Hertford, in 1851, but were bequeathed to the National Gallery in 1914 by Sir John Murray Scott, who had inherited them on the death of Lady Wallace in 1897.

Accompanying the two paintings, and also on loan from the National Gallery, is a portrait of Napoleon (1815-16) painted by Vernet  for Lord Kinnaird, a great admirer of Bonaparte.

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