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French School - Napoleon in Egypt, The Battle of the Pyramids, 1798
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French School - Napoleon in Egypt, The Battle of the Pyramids, 1798

Measurements: Overall: 13cm (5.25in) x 16.5cm (6.5in)



Watercolour on ivory. An officer of the 7e regiment bis de Hussards, in single combat with an Egyptian Mamluk. Contained in a period glazed and gilt frame.

The Battle of the Pyramids fought on 21 July 1798 saw Napoleon Bonaparte’s 20,000-strong Armée d’Orient deliver a decisive blow against the forces of Egypt’s Mamluk rulers. It was here that Napoleon deployed his French brigades in three massive rectangular formations that repeatedly threw back the Mamluks’ legendary cavalry. The victory effectively sealed the French conquest of Egypt and upon the news of the defeat, the waiting Mamluk armies in Cairo dispersed to Syria to reorganize. Napoleon entered Cairo after the battle and created a new local administration. Nelson's victory, however, at the Battle of the Nile just ten days later effectively dashed Napoleon's hopes of controlling the Middle East.