This work in graphite and watercolor on off-white wove paper is vertically oriented. There are six male figures portrayed in the uniforms of éclaireurs, or scouts, of nineteenth century France. Only the second and third men from the left are colored in, the four others are graphite outlines. The men wear military jackets with belts, trousers, and black shoes with tall, white spats. Their hats have brass emblems and tipped up bills. The largest man who was been colored in has a blue sash over his gray uniform and holds a rifle at his side. There is a pale blue rectangular border around the men with the artist’s name in the bottom center.
Tissot depicts six male figures portrayed in the uniforms of éclaireurs, or scouts, of nineteenth century France. Tissot was born in Nantes, France, and moved to Paris in 1856. Although his first works were literary and historical, he started painting modern subjects in 1856, focusing on detail and costume (Les Éclaireurs de la Seine was painted ca. 1870-1871). Tissot was in Paris and helped defend Paris from the Germans during the Franco-Prussian War. These are likely portraits of people he knew and perhaps served with. He fled to England after the fall of the Commune in 1871, where he proceeded to paint portraits and was linked to the aesthetic movement. He lived with a mistress and muse until her death in 1882, when he returned to Paris. He converted to Catholicism three years later and mainly focused on ambitious religious themes.
A sketch drawing of four men, identified as soldiers. On the bottom left a solider appears to be studying a large document. The rest of the drawing is composed of other soldiers reclining and kneeling within the space of the paper.
This woodcut features a multitude of armored figures, some of which are on horseback, engaged in a battle with swords and lances in a hilly countryside. Two cannons are arranged on the lower right in the foreground and one cannon is being manipulated by a figure in the lower left corner of the composition. Various flags are included in the image including one with a Burgundian cross. In the distance of the scene there is a walled town with mountains positioned behind it.
A battle scene including cannons and figures on horseback.
On the plate, lower right: Israel ex Cum Privilegis Regis On the plate, lower right margin: 2 On the plate, lower margin, six verse lines in groups of two disposed from left to right: Ce Metal que Pluton dans ses veines enserre, Qui faict en mesme temps, et la paix et la guerre, Attire la soldat, sans creinte des dangers, Du lieu de sa naissance, aux pais estrangers Ou s'estant embarqué pour suivre la Milice Il faut que sa vertu s'arme contre le Vice
On the plate, l.l.: Israel ex. Cum Privil. Reg. On the plate, low. r. margin: 9 On the plate, low. margin, six verse lines in groups of two arranged r. to l.: Après plusieurs excez indignement commis Par ces gens de néant de al gloire ennemis, / On les cherche par tout, avec beaucoup de peine Et la Provost du camp au quartier les rameine, / Affin dy recevoir comme ils l'ont mérité, Un chastiment conforme à leur témérité.