Waterloo Pencil Sketch, 1815
Waterloo Pencil Sketch, 1815
Waterloo Pencil Sketch, 1815
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Waterloo Pencil Sketch, 1815

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Overall: 24cm (9.5in) x 27cm (10.75in)

Graphite on paper. The substantial building at the centre of this rendition of the Battle of Waterloo, fought on Sunday 18 June 1815, is the walled farm of La Haye Sainte. The central mounted figure maybe counted as Wellington himself. To his left aide-de-camps and gallopers can be seen delivering news of the day and receiving orders. The sunken road to the left is perhaps the Brussels road where it cuts into the high ground of the Allied position. To the right figures cluster around a field gun close to a smaller foreground building. Troops in the distance obscured by the ever present smoke complete the scene.

The walled farm of La Haye Sainte along with Hougoumont and La Papelotte formed the three key positions on which Wellington’s Allied army was anchored. La Haye Sainte was stoically defended by 400-odd Hanoverian riflemen of the 2nd Light Battalion of the veteran King’s German Legion. These stalwart troops withstood French artillery barrages, repeated mass charges, cavalry attacks, and relentless sniping to hold the fortified the farm at the crucial intersection on the road to Brussels. Taking it was essential to the French effort to crack the line and drive a wedge between the enemy armies. But for the long bloody afternoon of 18 June 1815, the vastly outnumbered Germans defeated all attempts to take their position.