With Napoleon In Russia: The Illustrated Memoirs of Major Faber Du Faur, 1812


With Napoleon In Russia: The Illustrated Memoirs of Major Faber Du Faur, 1812 French History
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Product Description

A unique record of Napoleon's invasion of Russia by Faber du Faur, a talented artist and front-line soldier. This volume publishes ninety-two color plates that produce a superb and remarkably detailed evocation of the disastrous (for the French) campaign - from the weeping battle scenes which capture the ordeal of Smolensk and Borodino, to the day-to-day struggle to keep campfires burning and famished men fed. Also included are a number of the artist's original sketches, which were drawn on the spot and are of immense historical value. Bibliography. 208p.

Editorial Reviews

The Stuttgart-born career soldier Christian Wilhelm von Faber du Faur (1780-1857) served for years in the Napoleonic army, like a vast number of able-bodied mercenaries of his day. Also an amateur artist, Faber du Faur drew sketches of what he saw on the campaigns, and these were reproduced in colored plates in varied editions through his lifetime, with various texts in German and French. Popular military historian North (In the Legions of Napoleon, etc.) has translated prose captions from one of Faber du Faur's editions. (Other editions included poetry, making this a debatable choice.) The 92 plates are very much by an amateur artist, someone dedicated to showing detail, but stiffly, without emotiveness. Yet any fan of "outsider" art will feel their strange immediacy, as if the artist were struggling toward an impossible objectivity. Like the images, the clinical tone of the captions seems at some distance from actuality; sometimes terse and clearly translated throughout, they lack personality, going instead for deadpan comments like: "The bodies had been exposed to the burning heat of the summer sun, and they were rotting." Caveats aside, the historical charge of these drawings is enough to justify this release, and their peculiar power more than makes up for any shortcomings in the glosses. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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