Shepherd / W & K Galleries

Emile Jean Horace Vernet

(French, 1789–1863)

the duke of chartres saves the engineer siret from drowning in august of 1791 in vendôme by emile jean horace vernet

Emile Jean Horace Vernet

The Duke of Chartres Saves the Engineer Siret from Drowning in August of 1791 in Vendôme, 1847

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The grandson of the landscape and marine painter Claude-Joseph Vernet, Horace Vernet studied with his father Carle, from whom he was to inherit a lifelong interest in equestrian subjects. Horace assisted his father on the latter’s battle paintings before making his Salon debut in 1812 with a military painting of his own, commissioned by King Jerome of Westphalia, the brother of Napoleon. A committed Bonapartist, Vernet was to paint numerous scenes of the military victories of the Empire, many commissioned by the Duc d’Orléans, later King Louis-Philippe. Such was his close association with the Empire that in 1822 two of his Napoleonic paintings were rejected by the Salon, on the grounds that they depicted subjects associated with the previous regime. He was, however, later able to enjoy the patronage of Charles X, who in 1828 appointed Vernet director of the Académie Française in Rome, where he remained until 1834. Competent at a variety of styles, Vernet is best known today for his many large-scale, grandiose battle scenes and military subjects, although he also produced genre, Biblical and historical scenes.