The Rout of the French Imperial Guard at Waterloo

This painting by South African-born artist, Jason Askew, has been commissioned by The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum to mark the Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo.

It is 7.50 p.m. on Sunday, 18th June 1815. A column of French Imperial Guard has just been repulsed by the 1st Foot Guards of Major-General Maitland’s brigade (top left, and red uniforms, colours flying). The final column of advancing chasseurs (centre, middle ground) is about to be attacked in the flank by the 52nd Light Infantry of Major-General Adam’s brigade (bottom right).

Colonel Sir John Colborne, commanding the 52nd, who, on his own initiative, ordered his Regiment to move forward and attack the Imperial Guard in the flank, is shown on his horse with his sword raised (bottom right). Ensign William Leeke, aged 17, who survived and wrote a vivid account about the manoeuvre, ist to his left carrying the 52nd’s Regimental Colour. (Ensign Nettles carrying the King’s Colour was killed earlier in the day and the Colour is not recovered until the following day.)

The 2nd/95th Rifles (bottom left), commanded by Captain Logan, on foot carrying a sword, are providing fire support for the 52nd with their Baker rifles. The Imperial Guard, with an Eagle and Tricolour prominent in the centre of the painting, is facing outwards to oppose the 52nd. On the hill (top left)  the Duke of Wellington on horseback is surveying the scene, accompanied by Baron Tripp, 60th Regiment, aide-de-camp to HRH the Prince of Orange.

Within minutes the Imperial Guard is routed under the sudden impact of the 52nd’s musketry and a battalion charge, bayonets fixed. Wellington then orders his army to advance and the Allied victory at Waterloo soon follows.*

*Information next to the painting in The Royal Green Jackets Museum

8 Comments CherryPie on Nov 14th 2016

8 Responses to “The Rout of the French Imperial Guard at Waterloo”

  1. lisl says:

    The style makes it look as if it had been painted 200 years ago

  2. Shabana says:

    Great story and Amazing painting truly give the feel of battle field

  3. james higham says:

    Sending those Froggies home t’think again.

  4. I have not been to this museum yet!