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Study of a Premier Empire Chasseur à Cheval de la Garde Impériale

Ex: Hazlitt Gooden & Fox, London

French School. Pencil and watercolour sketch of an officer of the Horse Chasseurs of the Imperial Guard in full dress uniform, 1806-15 (image 24cm x 18cm)

The Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde Impériale originated from the Guides raised by Napoleon Bonaparte during the Italian Campaign of 1796, and a further select detachment of Guides that accompanied him to France after the Egyptian Campaign. It was constituted as a light cavalry regiment in the Consular and then Imperial Guard. In 1800 it was organised as a company of Chasseurs à Cheval, and placed under the command of Napoleon’s stepson, Eugene de Beauharnais. They were the second senior ‘Old Guard’ cavalry regiment after the Horse Grenadiers and as Chasseurs usually provided the Emperor with his personal escort. Napoleon often wore the uniform of the regiment in recognition of this service. The regiment was also highly regarded for its combat history.

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