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A 19th Century Study of a First Empire Officer of the Light Horse Lancers
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A 19th Century Study of a First Empire Officer of the Light Horse Lancers

Measurements: Overall: 65cm (25.5in) x 44cm (17.25in)



Watercolour on paper. Full length study the Napoleonic cavalry officer on campaign - the lack of a plume in his helmet and dusty hussar boots suggesting field service order. His short uniform coat is completed with green breeches and hussar boots. The regimental facing colour of madder red, worn on the lapels, collars, cuffs and turnbacks identifies the subject as an officer of the 6e Regiment de Chevau-Legers-Lanciers. Signed and dated lower left ‘Maurice Orange / 1904’. Framed and glazed

Prior to the Russian Campaign of 1812, Napoleon, wary of the great number of Cossacks to be found in the steppes, decided to convert six of his dragoon regiments into to 1er, 2e, 3e, 4e, 5e, and 6e Chevau-Légers Lanciers, for the purpose of screening his heavy cavalry divisions. Experienced troopers the Vistula Uhlans and the Polish Lancers of the imperial Guard instructed the new French units in light horse duties. The 6e Regiment subsequently distinguished itself at Moscow and won further Battle Honours for Hanau (1813) Champaubert (1814), and Fleurus (1815). During the Hundred Days they were with Napoleon in the Netherlands and fought at Waterloo.

Maurice Orange (1867-1916) was a scholarship pupil at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1885, where he studied under Jean-Léon Gérôme  and François Flameng. As a student he became friends with the military artist friends with Édouard Detaille. He specialised in historical subjects, especially of the Napoleonic era, and was greatly influence by his travels abroad.  From 1887 to 1914 he took part in the Salon des Artistes Français.