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Napoleon Bonaparte 1807 in Cuirass

Discussion in 'Figure News' started by Michaelminiatures, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Guys

    I will be doing a review on this so it will be good to concentrate on the actual resin

    And then get my brushes to it...certainly looking forward to the challenge of the detail

    Happy benchtime continues to be a great focus for me

    Stay safe

    kagemusha likes this.
  2. sd0324 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I really don't know why Mike even bothers to post here anymore and I hope he didn't see Martin's original unedited comment. Keep going Mike.
    JGREEN and malc like this.
  3. Nap A Fixture


    Hi there

    Mike posts to show what great releases MC have and this is one ...

    He did see the original comment and has been in contact

    Agree as you said ...Mike keep going

  4. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    I thought this was an artistic community that appreciated the outstanding quality of the work many of our members display. Mike's bust is an outstanding example of fine sculpting. Whether the history is accurate or not is neither here nor there; one must marvel of the skill that produced this excellent bust. Keep them coming Mike. I can see Nap and Geoff doing this one justice.

    Perhaps some people should tone down the nature of their remarks, although perhaps well meaning they can be taken as offensive rather than instructive. Let's focus on the artistic quality.

    Tonton, malc and Nap like this.
  5. Nap A Fixture

    Totally agree there with all your comments Chris

    It's a cracker and I look forward to seeing this very close up

    Happy benchtime

    Stay safe

  6. ivopreda A Fixture

    I think that in these pages is correct to discuss both the quality of the sculpt but also the historical accuracy.

    nothing to say on the sculpt really superb, in the historical side I agree with the fact that Napoleon tried once the cuirass then cancelled the project.

    here the text of the Rigo plate 200 dedicated to the Cuirass

    February 9, 1807... Heavy grey clouds, laden with snow, overlook the immense battlefield covered with dead and wounded*. Surrounded by his staff, Napoleon travels across the horrible field of misery. The Emperor is pale, poorly shaved, his features drawn and his clothes are still soiled by the mud of the previous day. From time to time he sighs, his eyes are blurred with tears and he whispers: "What a massacre! ». Back in Eylau, he makes the decision to force his generals to wear a breastplate as in the good old days of the Sun King and, as the example must come from above, he will wear one as well as the Major-General of the Grande Armée, Marshal BERTHIER, Prince of Neuchâtel. The latter will give the necessary orders by the next courier leaving for Paris. The manufacture of the two prestigious cuirasses, probably entrusted to Zuderell, a great specialist in the field, was completed on 16 June 1807, as we learn from a letter from REGNIER, the conservator of the artillery depot, who was in charge of the expedition. Perfectly packed, the cuirasses and helmets arrived one fine day at Tilsitt where the tents of the great headquarters were pitched... It is the time of the great reconciliation, Napoleon and Alexander do not leave each other anymore and have become the best friends in the world... "...or so it would seem to Madame Mother." One morning, no doubt wanting to surprise his Russian counterpart, the Emperor decided to put on his magnificent armour. Unfortunately no witness of the scene tells us about the memorable moment when, sacrificing his legend, Napoleon exchanged his famous hat for a golden helmet enriched with sapphires. When did he realize how ridiculous his silhouette was? In front of the repressed smile of his valet or, as an old family tradition** asserts, in front of his entire staff who, at first astonished, seemed frankly mocking?
    In any case, the Emperor took off his armour, donated it to Berthier and ordered that he never be spoken of again... this is what most historians have done!

    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
  7. Henkm Active Member

    I fully agree with Ivopreda. We have seen the discussion in other contexts and every time it turns out that historical accuracy is important to some, not to others. There should be room on the forum for both approaches but of course always with respect and kindness.
  8. NeilW A Fixture

    Hmnn... an interesting conundrum.

    When I first saw this 'famous armour' I assumed a gap in my own knowledge (I've always been more into rank and file PBI than the big bods anyway) but, thanks to Martin*, Zastro and Ivopreda I now know more about it and can place it into context.

    As Nap, Henkm and others have said, there are two dimensions: artistic/technical and historical (sorry Chris, it does matter to some of us).

    From the artistic/technical point of view there seems little doubt that the piece is a tour de force... as I initially said 'fantastique' (I'm sure that we all keenly await Nap's review).

    The historical issue is more problematic**. Yet what we have here IS ACCURATE in that: we know it existed, indeed it still does and we can see it in Paris; we have good records as to why, when and probably who made it; evidence suggest that Napoleon tried it on, probably in private (or at least with only members of his household present); however, reports suggest that he thought better of it and never wore it in public (and probably never again).

    So, HISTORICALLY, it is likely to be a fair representation of Napoleon in a one-off, pretty-well private and brief moment in time***.

    What IT IS NOT is a typical representation of him from any time in his career.

    But, there again, the parade ground strict Regs figures that used to dominate the hobby didn't represent typical troops either (either on campaign or, other than the Guard, parade). Indeed, there are plenty of accounts of equipment shortages, issue delays, locally made kit, wear and tear etc from the Revolution to Egypt to Italy to Russia to the Peninsula and finally Waterloo). In response to changing fashion there's been a bounce-back with a raggedy army of releases that to my mind sometimes go too far, but that's a matter of personal taste.

    So, in my view this bust is perfectly legitimate (even if the original backstory isn't), albeit for a very brief moment in time, and I'm sure that as a novel show-stopper and painting challenge it will be the centrepiece of many a collection.

    Everybody look after yourselves (y)


    * I don't think I saw the initial posting that others have referred to but if it was discourteous then that's not legitimate: mutual respect and courtesy, even in criticism, must be displayed.

    **As many will recognise, to me accuracy does count: indeed, these days I rather prefer the research to any actual modelling... I have at least a dozen un-started 'project files' stuffed with info yet not a blob of putty or paint in sight.

    *** Of course historical accuracy tends to become more of an issue the further back one goes (with particularly murky patches such as for 'the dark ages') and there's lots of space for historical speculation and a degree of artistic license. Nevertheless, it's best to avoid avoid horned helmeted vikings (and the now ubiquitous spectacle helmets were not that common) or tartan decked and face painted Wallaces... indeed to my mind most figures based on Hollywood or TV blockbusters are best treated as a sub-category of fandom and fantasy than as historical reality.
    akaryu, Martin Rohmann and Nap like this.
  9. Zastrow.cuirassier PlanetFigure Supporter

    Great Thanks Ivo for your post.
    I have never criticized the bust itself which I find very beautiful, which I hope will soon be part of my collection.
    On this forum, since I joined it, we have always tried to give historical information on the subjects treated.
    That's what I did, with reliable sources!
    If just informing has become a problem, it becomes serious!
    Martin Rohmann, NeilW and Nap like this.
  10. debrito A Fixture

    Napoleon was Emperor for 11 years or so.. this make around 4 000 days....Saying that, do you think that he just wear the famous Chasseur à cheval et grenadier à pied uniform every single day? you don’t think that he might had tried something different, that maybe , in the end, he did not approve?? He forbade maybe any draw, painting or any kind of representation and comment about him trying the cuirassier
    It is not because we don’t see any picture that it never happened
    Can we also say that many people here should only doing research and not painting
  11. malc Well-Known Member

    I think all the above just abouts exhausts the history lesson......

    Know when and where can we get our greed mits on that bust...:)
  12. Zastrow.cuirassier PlanetFigure Supporter

    I see that just the fact of trying to be precise about the history gives rise to a debate that has no place.
    So in order to close an argument or criticisms that have no place, I will apologize for having just tried to have tried to shed some light on a subject.
    Next time, I would not write anything, I would just say that it is beautiful, well carved!
    However Winston Churchill said:
    “I'm always ready to learn, although I don't always like being taught lessons.” think about it!
    And Napoleon concerning the uniforms:
    " You become the man in your uniform."
    Napoleon Bonaparte ; The maxims and thoughts (1769-1821)
    Martin Rohmann and NeilW like this.
  13. megroot A Fixture

    That will do no good to the forum. If nobody can speak out what he thinks about a sculpt if it is correct or not, then we can stop all here.
    Now it is clear that he wear it maybe 5 minutes. So it is historically correct.
    You made a good point, and the discussion ended to win win. Historically correct and some amazing bust.
    Keep the things you are doing.

    The bust is impressive.

  14. NeilW A Fixture

    There is always room for debate.

    As Marc says, in this case it's a win-win (or no score draw?)
  15. ivopreda A Fixture

    I agree with all... Napoleon wore this cuirass...stop. It's history.

    for sure he wore it very few and probably he only tried it. This doesn't mean that is an historical mistake.

    The figure has a good historical background and can't be discutable.

    there was some mistake in the original description referred to Tilsit but has been clarified before.

    Compliments to the sculptor for the quality and many wishes for a good commercial success
    NeilW, Nap and Zastrow.cuirassier like this.
  16. Nap A Fixture


    TOTALLY AGREE ...by all means post references but look at the quality etc of a release also

    You all know my thoughts on this from previous posts ...it's a great sculpt and I look forward to seeing the artwork as well

  17. JGREEN A Fixture


    Steve Deyo????? THE Steve Deyo??? He lives! Just kidding. Good to see a post from you! Hope all is well on your end.

  18. JGREEN A Fixture

    I think historical accuracy is an element of this hobby (more important to some than others), and it's OK to discuss the historical accuracy of a piece. There is, however, a right and a wrong way to go about it. Being a gentleman with some tact is the right way. Tearing the legitimacy of a piece to shreds in an extremely off-putting, haughty and mean-spirited way, and suggesting there's no way the piece is historically accurate when, as discussed above, the uniform was in fact at one time worn (however briefly it may have been), is the wrong way.

    Tonton, Chrisr, Nap and 1 other person like this.
  19. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Spot on Jason

    Nap likes this.
  20. Nap A Fixture



    Happy benchtime

    Stay safe


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