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"Painting of the Battle of Iena 1806" Topic

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602 hits since 22 Feb 2021
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MarbotsChasseurs22 Feb 2021 8:00 a.m. PST

Hello everyone,

I found the full picture of this beautiful painting by Chartier (?) of the Battle of Iena (Jena) on October 14, 1806. I do believe some units that are depicted, such as the two Prussian FreiKorps, on the far left, were not at the battle, but still gives you the feel for how large a Napoleonic battle was. However, I am not an expert on uniforms and units from this time period at all!

Also, was the Dragons de la Garde Impériale serving as a formed unit yet? I looked at Scott Bowden's translation of the battle and I can not find an officer serving with Marshal Murat on his staff from the Garde Dragons. Either way still a beautiful painting.

Right-click on the image and press view image to get a closer view.



BillyNM22 Feb 2021 8:25 a.m. PST

Very odd, everything I've seen says that Murat wore a green (I have seen red) fur-lined and laced coat with a fur cap at Jena. However there are definitely Prussian prisoners in the foreground in 1806 period uniforms. They could be l'Estocq's corps fighting with the Russians in Poland 1806/7 when Murat is usually shown wearing a uniform like this.
It's a mystery… let's see what others have to say.

BillyNM22 Feb 2021 9:08 a.m. PST

Wikipedia says the Empress Dragoons were established in April 1806 but are not listed in the Jena OOB – they were at Friedland but Murat was not.

MarbotsChasseurs22 Feb 2021 9:30 a.m. PST


When I first saw the painting, I did not have the complete portion on the left showing the Prussians, so I thought it was the Battle of Heilsberg. However, Prussians were at the battle, so it could be Heilsberg since Murat is usually shown in white during the same battle.

Fanch du Leon22 Feb 2021 9:53 a.m. PST

Painter's full name is Henri-Georges Chartier. Less known than Detaille or Meissonier, but in the same patriotic 1871-1914 style. Google his name and you'll see some of its works, mostly cavalry actions (one with a cuirassiers general at Waterloo on the foreground is quite famous among wargamers)

MarbotsChasseurs22 Feb 2021 10:01 a.m. PST

Fanch du Leon,

Thank you for the information! I have seen a few of his paintings before after doing a search with the name you provided. I found this blog showing more of his works.


Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP22 Feb 2021 8:45 p.m. PST

Notice the general in the centre foreground who's been whipped; and the 'old' equipment and uniforms- bicornes mostly on the infantry, chaperons on the dragoons.

The Prussian Grenadier and Hussar (who looks like he's about to smoke a pipe) should be locateable; see our old friends the Gendarmes de l'elite in attendance. The sous-officier of Dragons de la Garde Impériale seems to be a post-period anachronism, as they are in Lejeunes 'Ulm' painting. He's looking back to the other Dragoons as if he's in charge, but I doubt he would have been.

Once again thanks, never seen the painting referenced before.
cheers dave

von Winterfeldt22 Feb 2021 11:08 p.m. PST

an odd painting, an agglomeration of different uniform styles – the Prussians, here he shows a Jäger grenadier of the company Sell, raised in 1807 to defend Glatz – a year too early for Jena.

Also Murat is shown in an uniform associated with 1807 – odd light blue turn backs so.

BillyNM23 Feb 2021 6:39 a.m. PST

I had forgotten the Prussians were at Heilsberg so combined with Murat's uniform as pointed out by MarbotsChasseurs I also reckon it's probably Heilsberg.

Fanch du Leon23 Feb 2021 9:26 a.m. PST

Murat is in white for artistic reason and not for historical accuracy. He's obviously this work's focal point. In green or dull red jackets, he wouldn't catch the viewer's eyes so easily. Another oddity is his hand on hip while his horse is rearing. With his escort in full gallop less than 2 meters behind him, i'd like to see the same scene 2 or 3 seconds later. But this kind of painting is not for historical accuracy, but for uplifting the patriotic feelings after the 1871 humiliation.

MiniPigs In the TMP Dawghouse23 Feb 2021 10:21 a.m. PST

Very odd, everything I've seen says that Murat wore a green…

Green like a lime, or green like an avocado?

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2021 11:13 p.m. PST

More likely green like Elton John.

von Winterfeldt23 Feb 2021 11:25 p.m. PST

I agree with Fanch du Leon – a piece of propaganda.

MarbotsChasseurs24 Feb 2021 5:05 a.m. PST

The propaganda must have worked on me as it is my background desktop now!

von Winterfeldt24 Feb 2021 11:59 a.m. PST

there you see the power of propaganda – artist mission accomplished.

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