Zulu War

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Zulu War art prints by military artist Alphonse de Neuville, Zulu war battles, Battle of Isandhlwana and Defence of Rorke's Drift published by Cranston Fine arts, the military print company. 

Alphonse Marie de Neuville   The son of a banker, Alphonse was born in Saint Omer, Normandy, on the last day of May, 1836. As a youngster, he yearned to be a soldier but his family insisted that he study law. Although he completed his law degree in 1857, he showed more interest in art and approached Adolphe Yvon and Hipployte Bellange about his idea but both discouraged him so he entered the studio of Francois-Eduard Picot where he started work with another pupil and future military artist, Berne-Bellecour. The great painter Delacroix also took the young painter under his wing. 
In 1859, the artist showed his first military painting at the Salon. The Fifth Battalion of Chasseurs at the Gervais Battery, Malahoff for which he won a medal. A commission to paint Garibaldi taking Naples was received the following year and de Neuville went to the place to sketch first-hand. While there he witnessed the siege at Capou. He received a second-class medal for another painting of the Crimean War shortly after.

Throughout the 1860s he busied himself with various large canvases depicting events from the Crimean War and Italian War of 1859, but it was to the events of the war with Prussia in 1870-71 that De Neuville was to gain his reputation as a painter of the 'incident' rather than the event. At the age of 35, the artist found himself as an officer of auxiliary sappers near Paris, and participated in the battles at Le Bourget and Champigny. These experiences enabled him to embark on a series of remarkable paintings chronicling the suffering of the French soldiers in the war. In 1872 appeared The Bivouac before Le Bourget but it was his picture of the following year, The Last Cartridge which really brought his name to prominence among the art critics of Paris. In this powerful and pathetic picture, a small group of French chasseurs await their fate in the upper room of a shot-riddled house having exhausted their ammunition. To achieve the reality of the moment, the artist painted the scene in a room which had been riddled with bullets and wreaked of powder. His 1875 piece entitled Attack by fire upon a barricaded house at Villersexel was regarded by many as his finest picture to date, but this was soon overshadowed by the immensely popular Le Bourget painted in 1878 showing a few French soldiers filing out of a church into the arms of the victorious Prussians. During the next few years, his reputation before him, he found employment in England with the Fine Art Society painting scenes from the various colonial campaigns in Zululand and Egypt resulting in his pictures of Rorke's Drift and Tel-el-Kebir but he soon returned to the subject he was most at home with, the war of 1870. Pictures for the 1880s include the famous Cemetery of St Privat and two panoramas of the battles at Champigny and Rezonville painted with his pupil, Edouard Detaille. His premature death at the age of 49 in May 1885 shocked the art world but his numerous pictures were a lasting testament to his greatness and sensitiveness to the sufferings of the common soldier.

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Defence of Rorkes Drift by Alphonse De Neuville.


Defence of Rorkes Drift by Alphonse De Neuville.

By about 6pm the Zulu attacks had extended all around the front of the post, and fighting raged at hand-to-hand along the mealie-bag wall. Lieutenant Chard himself took up a position on the barricade, firing over the mealie-bags with a Martini-Henry, whilst Lieutenant Bromhead directed any spare men to plug the gaps in the line. The men in the yard and on the front wall were dangerously exposed to the fire of Zulu marksmen posted in the rocky terraces on Shiyane (Oskarsberg) hill behind the post. Several men were hit, including Acting Assistant Commissary Dalton, and Corporal Allen of the 14th. Surgeon Reynolds treated the wounded as best he could despite the fire. Once the veranda at the front of the hospital had been abandoned, the Zulus had mounted a determined attack on the building itself, setting fire to the thatched roof with spears tied with burning grass. The defenders were forced to evacuate the patients room by room, eventually passing them out through a small window into th.........


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Item Code : DHM0022Defence of Rorkes Drift by Alphonse De Neuville. - Editions Available
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The Defense of Rorkes Drift by Alphonse De Neuville.


The Defense of Rorkes Drift by Alphonse De Neuville.

By about 6pm the Zulu attacks had extended all around the front of the post, and fighting raged at hand-to-hand along the mealie-bag wall. Lieutenant Chard himself took up a position on the barricade, firing over the mealie-bags with a Martini-Henry, whilst Lieutenant Bromhead directed any spare men to plug the gaps in the line. The men in the yard and on the front wall were dangerously exposed to the fire of Zulu marksmen posted in the rocky terraces on Shiyane (Oskarsberg) hill behind the post. Several men were hit, including Acting Assistant Commissary Dalton, and Corporal Allen of the 14th. Surgeon Reynolds treated the wounded as best he could despite the fire. Once the veranda at the front of the hospital had been abandoned, the Zulus had mounted a determined attack on the building itself, setting fire to the thatched roof with spears tied with burning grass. The defenders were forced to evacuate the patients room by room, eventually passing them out through a small window into th.........


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Item Code : DHM0202The Defense of Rorkes Drift by Alphonse De Neuville. - Editions Available
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Defence of Rorkes Drift by Lady Elizabeth Butler.
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Defence of Rorkes Drift by Lady Elizabeth Butler. (B)
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Last Sleep of the Brave by Alphonse De Neuville


Last Sleep of the Brave by Alphonse De Neuville

Scouts find the bodies of Melville and Coghill with the colours nearby. In fact, the Colours were lost in the river and were found later, both men were posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. Lieutenant Melville was the adjutant of the 1st Battalion, the 24th Foot. Melville collected the Queen's Colours from the guard tent towards the end of the battle and rode out of camp heading for the Tugela River. Melville arrived at the river, and due to the heavy rains the Tugela was in flood. Melville rode into the river but about half way across came off his horse, still clutching the colours. Lieutenant Coghill, also of the 24th Foot, crossed the river soon after and went to Melville's assistance. The Zulus were on the bank and opened a heavy fire on them. Lt Coghill's horse was killed and the colour swept away. Both officers struggled to the Natal bank where it seems it is llikely that both men were killed by Natal natives.


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Item Code : DHM0971Last Sleep of the Brave by Alphonse De Neuville - Editions Available
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Saving the Queens Colours at the Battle of Isandhlwana by Alphonse de Neuville


Saving the Queens Colours at the Battle of Isandhlwana by Alphonse de Neuville

The painting shows Lieutenant T. Melville along with Lieutenant N J A Coghill attempting to Save the Queen's Colours of the 1/24th and fight their way out of the Battle of Isandhlwana. Lieutenant Melville was the adjutant of the 1st Battalion, the 24th Foot. Melville collected the Queen's Colours from the guard tent towards the end of the battle and rode out of camp heading for the Tugela River. Melville arrived at the river, and due to the heavy rains the Tugela was in flood. Melville rode into the river but about half way across came off his horse, still clutching the colours. Lieutenant Coghill, also of the 24th Foot, crossed the river soon after and went to Melville's assistance. The Zulus were on the bank and opened a heavy fire on them. Lt Coghill's horse was killed and the colour swept away. Both officers struggled to the Natal bank where it seems it is llikely that both men were killed by Natal natives. The colours would later be recovered from the Tuge.........


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Item Code : DHM0970Saving the Queens Colours at the Battle of Isandhlwana by Alphonse de Neuville - Editions Available
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Last Stand of the 24th Regiment at the Battle of Isandhlwana by Simon Smith
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