Battle of Waterloo

Today marks the 199th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, the last great battle of the Napoleonic Wars.  The battle saw 74,000 French men clash with a allied army made up of British, Belgian, Dutch, Prussian and other smaller German states numbering some 118,000.  

Perhaps the best known battle of the Napoleonic Wars because of it’s almost cinematic unfolding.  With the triumphant return of the exiled Napoleon finally meeting the renowned British commander the Duke of Wellington in a climactic last roll of the dice.  The close run nature of the battle itself and the dozens of what-ifs which surround it have all combined to place the Battle of Waterloo in the pantheon of great historical military engagements.  

Due to this status many of the finest artists of the 19th century chose the famous battle as subject matter, creating some of the period’s most iconic and arresting military-themed paintings - further cementing the battle’s position in the public’s mind.   Next year will mark the 200th anniversary of the battle with commemorations set to mark the engagement in Belgium.  


Image One - map of dispositions at the beginning of the battle

Image TwoBattle of Waterloo by William Sadler

Image Three - Scotland Forever by Elizabeth Butler

Image FourCharge of the French Cuirassiers at Waterloo by Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux

Image FivePrussian Attack Plancenoit by Adolf Northern

Image Six - The Morning After by John Heaviside Clark

On September 3, 1912, ground was broken for a new cyclorama building on Baltimore Street in Gettysburg, on Cemetery Hill (on the site of the present day Holiday Inn), near the entrance to the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. It opened to the public in 1913, in time for the 50th anniversary of the battle, once again displayed as a full circular painting, rather than in sections.

Félix Philippoteaux (1815-1884) - Les Gentilshommes du duc d’Orléans dans l’habit de Saint-Cloud

Huile sur toile 

Plus connu comme peintre d’histoire (il a participé au décor des galeries historiques du château de Versailles inaugurées en 1837), Philippoteaux a ici copié une gouache pleine d’esprit de Louis Carrogis, dit Carmontelle (1717-1806) figurant six gentilshommes en redingote rouge et bas noir dans l’habit de campagne de la maison d’Orléans. Il s’agit, de gauche à droite, du chevalier de Gax, du marquis de Périgny, du chevalier de Saint-Mars, du chevalier d’Estrées, du baron de Tourempé et du chevalier Desparts. Ce tableau provient de la vente du duc de Vendôme, en 1931.

Spare a moment of your time this day to think of all those that fought on the field of Waterloo 200 years ago.

on the 18th of June, 1815 men wearing many different uniforms, colours and under different flags fought with and against each other. The day saw terrible horror, savagery but also great bravery and heroism.

Everything that we can be was shown that day and we can learn so very much from it.

The painting is the Battle of Waterloo: The British Squares Receiving the Charge of the French Cuirassiers by Félix Henri Emmanuel Philippoteaux.1874.

“Look daddy! A shiny plate!Can I keep it?”

“Jeez kid, how many times have I told you not to pick up trash from the street.And move your ass cause someone’s shooting at us.”


I’m being a complete idiot, I know :3

But this is one of the best old book engravings showing Athos and Raoul together.They both look so good; specially the costumes and the hairstyles :)

I skip the emotional part of these scenes because I can’t :(


The Battle of Waterloo in Art - pt.1

The most famous battle of the 19th century has been immortalised by artists for 200 years, with hundreds of paintings capturing the iconic and dramatic moments of the battle.  Some show the chaos of battle, the churning of men inside a mass of smoke while show the dynamic moments such as the British squares repelling the French cavalry or Sergeant Ewart capturing his Imperial Eagle.  While not all perfectly accurate - the Scots Greys in Lady Butler’s spectacular Scotland Forever!, never reached more than a canter in the muddy ground, they are all fascinating.  They give us an idea of the struggle and chaos of the battle that finally decided the fate of Europe.

Part two here


Battle of Waterloo 1815 by William Sadler (source)

The British Squares Receiving the Charge of the French Cuirassiers by Félix Henri Emmanuel Philippoteaux (source)

On the Evening of the Battle of Waterloo by Ernest Crofts (source)

Scotland Forever! by Lady Elizabeth Butler (source)

The Battle of Waterloo by Clément-Auguste Andrieux (source)

Sergeant Ewart of the Scots Greys capturing the eagle of the 45ème Ligne by Richard Ansdell (source)

Marshal Ney leading the French Cavalry, Waterloo Panorama by Louis Dumoulin (source

The Storming of Plancenoit by Ludwig Elsholtz (source)

Hougoumont by Robert Gibb (source)

La Haye Sainte by Adolf Northern (source)