23rd Dragoons cavalryman

This model on horseback is closely linked to the history of the Musée de l'Armée. The 23rd regiment of Dragoons cavalry uniform belonged to the painter Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891), who launched the idea of creating a historic army museum. The aim of the new museum, which was built to complement the existing artillery museum, was to commemorate the French army and to display all aspects of its material history. The Musée de l’Armée was opened in 1905 after the two museums were merged.

About the work

 

 

23rd Dragoons cavalryman, Consulate period © Paris - Musée de l'Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Christophe Chavan

 

The historic army museum was created in 1896 and based on the Ernest Meissonier collection. The collection was later expanded with the help of a military history society, Sabretache. A large number of military painters were members of the society, including Edouard Detaille, a pupil of Meissonier. At his death, in 1912, Detaille left an important collection of uniforms and objects to the Musée de l'Armée.

 

 

In their quest for accuracy, the military painters of the period would frequently assemble their own collection of uniforms and arms, which they then used as models. It is worth noting that military archaeology after 1870 owes a large debt to these painters. A series of paintings by Meissonier entitled "Dragoons of the 23rd regiment in the centre stage" (1876) include this cavalryman. The horse is made of plaster and is of a very high quality. It was the work of the animal painter and sculptor Pierre Tourgueneff (1853-1912).

 

 

23rd Dragoons cavalryman, Consulate period © Paris - Musée de l'Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Christophe Chavan

 

Label

 


Inventory no. : Ga 17

History: Bequest by Meissonier and others. Horse: Don Joseph Oller (1896)

Place of creation : Paris