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Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville

alphonse-marie-adolphe de neuville, alphonse-marie-adolphe de neuville art
Alphonse de Neuville 31 May 1835 – 18 May 1885 was a French Academic painter who studied under Eugène Delacroix His dramatic and intensely patriotic subjects illustrated episodes from the Franco-Prussian War, the Crimean War, the Zulu War and portraits of soldiers Some of his works have been collected by the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and by the Metropolitan Museum in New York


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Illustrator and military artist
  • 3 Gallery
  • 4 See also
  • 5 Notes
  • 6 Further reading
  • 7 External links

Early life

Neuville in a National Guard uniform in 1870–1871

Born Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe Deneuville to wealthy parents at Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais, earned his degree of bachelier ès-lettres, and in spite of family opposition, he entered 1856 the naval school at Lorient; it was there that his artistic instincts started[1]

He was discouraged by several painters of repute, but he was admitted to work in the studio of François-Edouard Picot; he did not remain there long He was painting by himself when he produced his first picture, The Fifth Battalion of Chasseurs at the Gervais Battery Malakoff In 1860 Neuville painted an Episode of the taking of Naples by Garibaldi for the Artists' Club in the rue de Provence, and sent to the Paris Salon in 1861 The Guard Chasseurs in the Trenches of the Mamelon Vert[2]

Illustrator and military artist

He participated in illustrating the Pierre-Jules Hetzel's editions of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea He also illustrated Le Tour du monde and François Guizot's History of France At the same time he painted a number of remarkable pictures: The Attack in the Streets of Magenta by Zouaves and the Light Horse 1864, A Zouave Sentinel 1865, The Battle of San Lorenzo 1867, and Dismounted Cavalry crossing the Tchernaia 1869 In these he showed peculiar insight into military life[2]

His full power was reached after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 The long-term French reaction was revanchism: a deep sense of bitterness, hatred, and demand for revenge against Germany, especially because of the loss of Alsace and Lorraine[3] Paintings that emphasized the humiliation of the defeat were in high demand, such as The Spy by de Neuville[4]

He then aimed at depicting in his works the episodes of that war, and began by representing the Bivouac before Le Bourget 1872 His fame spread rapidly and was increased by The Last Cartridges 1873, memorializing an episode involving the Blue Division of the French marines, in which it is easy to discern the vast difference between the conventional treatment of military subjects, as practised by Horace Vernet, and that of a man who had lived the life that he painted[2]

Fight on a Railroad 1874 was equally successful, and was followed by the Attack on a House at Villersexel 1875 and the Railway Bridge at Styring 1877 In 1878, the painter exhibited not at the Great Exhibition Le Bourget, the Surprise at Daybreak, The Intercepted Despatch-bearer, and a considerable number of drawings He also exhibited in London some episodes of the Zulu War[2] Fifty thousand people paid to see his impression of The Defence of Rorke's Drift 1880, which the infant Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney paid a large sum to acquire[citation needed]

In 1881, he was made an officer of the Légion d'honneur for The Cemetery of Saint-Privat, The Despatch-bearer, and Huns in the Battle of Chalon During these years Neuville was at work with Édouard Detaille on an important although less artistic work, The Panorama of Rézonville

Neuville died in Paris on May 18, 1885 At the sale of his works the state purchased for the Palais du Luxembourg the paintings Bourget and Attack on a Barricaded House, watercolor The Parley, and the drawing Turco in Fighting Trim[2]


See also

  • Military art


  1. ^ Chisholm 1911
  2. ^ a b c d e  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed 1911 "Neuville, Alphonse Marie de" Encyclopædia Britannica 19 11th ed Cambridge University Press p 450mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-rightmw-parser-output citation mw-selflink This cites Montrosier, Les Peintres militaires Paris, 1881, "De Neuville," in Gazette des beaux arts Paris, 1885
  3. ^ Varley, Karine 2008 Under the Shadow of Defeat: The War of 1870-71 in French Memory
  4. ^ Jay, Robert "Alphonse de Neuville's 'The Spy' and the Legacy of the Franco-Prussian War," Metropolitan Museum Journal 1984 19: pp 151-162 in JSTOR

Further reading

  • Chabert, Philippe Gérard Alphonse de Neuville : l'épopée de la défaite, Paris, Copernic, 1979
  • Jackson, David, 'Zulu War Paintings - Alphonse De Neuville', Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol LXIX, No 277, Spring 1991, pp 56–57
  • Southey, R J, 'De Neuville and Isandhlwana', Africana Notes and News, Vol 19, No 6, June 1971, pp 253–254

External links

  • Works by Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by Alphonse de Neuville illustrator at Faded Page Canada
  • Works by or about Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville at Internet Archive

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