In contrast to war photography, war art in the pre-camera days allowed the painter to include a wider aspect of a battle, including events that could have happened hours apart. It gives a fuller representation of the conflict and one that adds a lot of rich flavour to the scene.
Usually using a wide-angle view of a battle, war artists can incorporate a series of vignettes featuring moments in the clash of arms.
THE NAPOLEONIC WARS features 54 works of JJ Jenkins, an artist whose skills far surpass his fame.
The watercolours – which are beautifully reproduced – include the Siege of Seringapatam in India, the French attack on Acre and continue through the Peninsular War, making brief side-tracks into the siege of Moscow and Napoleon’s later campaigns in Germany.
Famous incidents are captured, such as the fatal wounding at Cacabelos of French General Auguste Colbert by rifleman Thomas Plunkett, Marshal Beresford disarming a lancer at Albuera and the deaths of Generals Sir John Moore (Corunna), Sir Ralph Abercrombie (Alexandria) and Jean Moreau after Dresden.
There are 49 colour plates of military action in The Napoleonic Wars and they are, in a word, striking.
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