Heavy drifts of snow cover a broad Russian field. In the foreground of the image, Napoleon (center) gives directions for a bulletin to an officer (center left) and a courier (far left). The courier has just arrived and stands at the left edge of the image. In order to maneuver through the snow, he has tied planks to his feet as makeshift snowshoes. His figure is represented in profile in order to highlight his emaciated body and ragged clothing, his skeletal thighs disappearing into large black jackboots. The courier holds a minuscule looking glass through which he peers down at Napoleon, his jaw dropped open in disbelief. Indicating his function, the courier has been rendered with characteristics of a horse. This is especially notable in his face and in the long pig tail that juts from the back of his head. Napoleon is buried up to his coat collar by the blanketing snow. Drawn in profile, his beaked nose and comically large cocked hat recall a ship's prow plowing through waves. Moreover, the feathers trailing off the peak of the hat suggest banners or flags and serve to identify Napoleon among the soldiers likewise swimming in snow. The upper left corner of the sheet is torn.
Published by Walker and Knight. 1812-12-00
Caption: Published Decr 1812 by Walker & Knight Sweetings Alley Royal Exchange
Dialogue: Courier: "By Gar he is almost lost!!" French Officer: "Vat de devil shall Ve say in de Bulletin?" Napoleon: "Say!!!! why say we have got into Comfortable Winter Quarters, and the Weather is very fine & will last 8 days longer. Say we have got plenty of Soup Meagre plenty of Minced meat--grilld Bears fine eating--driveing cut-us-off to the Devil. Say we shall be at home at Xmas to dinner--give my love to darling--don't let John Bull know that I have been Cowpoxed--tell a good lie about the Cossacks. D___e it tell anything but the Truth."
The Napoleonic satires housed in the Anne S. K. Brown Military collection of the John Hay Library represent several important gifts made to the library in the 20th century. In addition to the Napoleonic satires located in the military collection …
This vast digital collection of military artwork from the 16th through 20th centuries, vividly documents all aspects of military and naval history, with emphasis on the history and illustration of world military and naval uniforms from the 17th century to …