The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Horace Vernet

Horace Vernet

A carte-de-visite portrait of the artist Horace Vernet (1789-1863).

The son of an eminent painter, Horace Vernet was ironically born in the Louvre, shortly before the eruption of the French Revolution. He is primarily known for his many large-scale panoramas depicting French battles, including a series of enormous canvases painted for Versailles, although he also painted scenes from the Bible, literary subjects, and views of Italy, North Africa and the Middle East. Louis-Philippe first bought one of his paintings in 1817, and subsequently favoured him with many commissions. However, he achieved a certain level of notoriety when some of his paintings were rejected by the jury of the 1822 Paris Salon, allegedly because of their anti-Bourbon character. Nevertheless, he still received a number of honours from the Bourbon monarchy, including in 1828 the Directorship of the French Academy in Rome, which he retained until 1834. His many foreign journeys included visits to Algeria (1833, 1837, 1839, 1845 and 1853), the Middle East (1839-40), Russia (1836 and 1842-3) and the Crimea (1854-5). He also accompanied the French army during the Crimean War.

Napoleon III once asked Vernet to remove from one of is paintings a general who had fallen out of favour. to which request the artist replied ‘I am a painter of history, Sire, and I will not violate the truth’.

Vernet died in Paris on 17 January 1863.

Photographed by Disdéri of Paris.


Code: 124131
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