This wonderful oil painting on a board by Raymond Desvarreux depicts the cavalry on horseback, in a village in France during the Napoleonic Wars.
The focal point of the painting is the two mounted soldiers near a village center fountain. They are probably members of the Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde Impériale, which were the light cavalry division of the Imperial Guard under Napoleon. The soldiers are identically dressed: wearing a red dolman with a sword on their hip and a red Phrygian cap on their head. The two horsemen appear as if they are at rest, a short pause to water their horses before continuing their military march.
To the left of the center fountain, three more members of the calvary, this time dressed in all black and wearing bicorne hats, head towards the center of town. In front of them in the distance, a towering church steeple can be seen. To the right of the church is a large statue, as well as houses lining both sides of the street. The village is typically French, and based on the buildings à colombages (half timbered construction), it is likely Alsatian.
The original giltwood frame complements the browns, creams and blues of the painting well. It especially makes the red uniforms come to life, leading your eye directly towards the center of the canvas. The painting is signed on the bottom right “Raymond Desvarreux” and the frame has a small placard on the bottom that says “R. Desvarreux”.
Raymond Desvarreux (1876 – 1961), was a French Painter and the son of James Desvarreux-Larpenteur, an American painter. Like his father, Desvarreux painted landscapes, horses and hunting scenes. However, he became well known for his military paintings, exhibiting at the Salon de Paris. Desvarreux was a member of the Society of Military Painters in 1913. Under the direction of Louis Dumoulin, he participated in the panorama of the Battle of Waterloo and was awarded a gold medal at the Salon in 1913. He was approved by the Army Museum in 1914 and appointed painter of the Ministry of War in February 1915.
CONDITION: Good condition with wear, chips, and touchups to frame as seen in photos