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Murat at Aboukir - 1799

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Dani A., Apr 15, 2004.

  1. Dani A. New Member

    Hello,

    Welcome to my first Workbench project!

    I have selected, as a subject, a well-known Napoleonic personality, namely the dashing Joachim Murat, at the time of the Egyptian campaign, concretely at the battle of Aboukir, July 25th, 1799. Général de brigade Murat commanded a cavalry brigade, formed by the 7th (bis) hussars and the 3rd and 4th dragoons. This outfit was well involved in the fight, playing a decisive part, and Murat himself engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the Turkish leader, Mustapha Pacha, in a celebrated exploit: Pacha hit Murat with a pistol shot in his jaw, and he retaliated maiming Pacha's right hand with a sabre blow, and next capturing him. Général en chef Bonaparte promoted Murat to général de division after the battle.

    My inspiration for the project was a painting by that famous and prolific artist, Gros, Murat à Aboukir, depicting the incident I have just described (I have enclosed a detail). This is a highly idealized scene, and full of artistic license concerning many details; for instance, the appearance of Murat is a mix of Revolutionary- and Imperial-era elements, and is not to be taken as accurate. What I plan to do is make my own representation of Murat, loosely inspired on that of Gros but adequately "accurized" with appropriate research.

    [IMG]

    I will not list now every source, I prefer to do so as I go along with the work; but some mention to general sources is convenient: I would recommend "Bonaparte - La campagne d'Egypte", by Tranié and Carmigniani, as a good title for the historical background, and some interesting illustrations can be found there, too. As to the uniform and equipment, will use maîtres Rousselot and Rigondaud plates, and also "Napoleon's commanders (1)", a quite fine book in the Osprey Elite series, with nice plates by Patrice Courcelle.

    Enough for a teaser... see you soon!

    Dani
  2. poetwarrior Member

    Hi Dani,

    That painting is an awesome inspiration for Murat while defeating the Turkish Pasha. As a matter of fact, that painting resides at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan. The painting was done by the Romanticist artist Antoine Jean Gros around 1805. It is a painting well worth seeing in its totality. I've seen it many times while visiting the museum and I see something new in it everytime I visit. It's loaded with tons of drama while Murat remains the central focus. I believe you can view the entire painting on the DIA website. Here's the address.

    http://www.dia.org/collections/euroart/romantic/49.337.html

    Dave Neary

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