Napoléon at War
Napoléon Bonaparte ranks among the greatest military strategists and field commanders who ever lived. He repeatedly defeated much larger armies by duping enemy generals into dividing up their forces and using flanking maneuvers that required unheard of speed and precision of troop movement. His structure for the Grand Army facilitated the command and deployment of vast forces and is used to this day. The names of his victorious battles continue to resonateAusterlitz, Marengo, Wagram, Arcola, Jena. Because of his successes and his ability to appeal to their honor, Napoléon evoked fierce loyalty from his troops, in spite of the fact that the persistent attacks of his enemies, combined with his own ambition, caused him to sacrifice the lives of hundreds of thousands of French fighting men during his years in power.
"Bonaparte Crossing the Alps by the Great Saint Bernard Pass"
Jean-Baptiste Mauzaisse with Jacques-Louis David - c. 1807
The most famous depiction of Napoléons military career, Bonaparte Crossing the Alps captures the energy and excitement of his Italian campaigns and rise to power. Like Hannibal and Charlemagne, whose names appear at the paintings bottom, Bonaparte courageously took his forces over the Alps in order to surprise his enemy. The strategy ultimately secured him victory at the Battle of Marengo. This painting also demonstrates Davids talent as a propagandist for Napoléon, who actually crossed the mountains on a mule.
Oil on canvas
More images in this section:
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PONTILED 1880s FRENCH FIGURAL WINE BOTTLE FROSTED MAN & LADY STORMING BASTILLE
1790/1792 FRENCH REVOLUTION 5 SOLS COMM. COIN STORMING OF THE BASTILLE AS IS
1789-1889 FRENCH EXPOSITION BRONZE MEDAL STORMING OF BASTILLE SYMBOLIC RARE
Press Photo "Storming of the Bastille" painting at The Carnavalet Museum, France
1935 Press Photo Reenactment of Peasants Storming Bastille - nee19042
1987 Press Photo Runners Wait For Start Of "Storm The Bastille" Run - mja45026