Sunday, 19 September 2010

Siege of Paris

This started a 140 years ago today. Wiki here
Image by Meissonier.

1 comment:

  1. Ernest Meissonier’s allegorical picture The Siege of Paris was painted in 1884. Meissonier’s Wiki entry is at

    The model for the central female figure, representing Paris, was Eliza Bezanson, Meissonier’s mistress and later wife. The dying soldier sinking to his knees behind the figure of Paris is a portrait of Henri Regnault, a very promising young artist who had been killed at the battle of Buzenval on 19th January 1871. Regnault’s Wiki entry is at Meissonier borrowed the actual brown greatcoat Regnault had been wearing when he was shot to help him depict it accurately.

    Note the sailors manning the gun on the left of the painting. Sailors played a key role as gunners during the siege.

    For further reading about Meissonier, see ‘The Judgement of Paris’ by Ross King (Chatto & Windus, 2006) and ‘Art , War and Revolution in France 1870-1871’ by John Milner (Yale University Press, 2000)