Tuesday, April 5, 2016

In the Trenches (1874)

Alphonse de Neuville: In the Trenches

Members of the Garde Mobile (French expeditionary forces) are huddled in a shallow trench during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. De Neuville has conveyed the general misery and tedium between battles that is associated with trench warfare. The artist complained that his dealer, Alphonse Goupil, wanted more flattering, less disturbing subjects and refused to pay him more than 6,000 francs, a small fee, for this painting. De Neuville entered the naval school at Lorient in 1856, where his artistic instincts began. His work focuses on war, battle scenes, and soldiers. He also illustrated "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" and Guizot's "History of France" as well as others. He also studied under Eugène Delacroix. [The Walters Art Museum]

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