Ernest Meissonier: The battle of Friedland (June 14, 1807), The Charge of the French Cuirassiers (1861-1875)

(The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA)

A very cool painting by Meissonier. The battle of Friedland was the last battle of the War of the Fourth Coalition. In this war, Napoleon fought against a coalition of Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Sweden and Great Britain. At Friedland the Russian army was decisively defeated by Napoleon and ended all hostilities. The painting shows French cavalry riding past Napoleon and his staff - both are saluting each other. To the left of Napoleon you can see Chasseurs à Cheval, who are acting a bodyguard of Napoleon. To the right of Napoleon stands the famous French Imperial Guard. Painting from 1861–75.