The Battle of Waterloo in 1815 is perhaps the most famous military clash of the 19th century and as such has been commemorated in hundreds of paintings. Below are some of the most dynamic and eye-catching artistic impressions of the battle’s pivotal moments.
1. Battle of Waterloo 1815 by William Sadler
Sadler’s painting of the British infantry at Waterloo gives us an idea of the churning mass of men involved in the battle and how they might have looked amid the smoke.
2. Wellington at Waterloo by Robert Alexander Hillingford
Hillingford’s iconic painting depicts the Duke of Wellington as a dynamic figure as he rallies his men between French cavalry charges.
3. Scotland Forever! by Lady Elizabeth Butler
Lady Butler’s painting of the Scots Greys charging really conveys the terror and motion of the horses. In reality, however, the Scots Greys never reached more than a canter over the battlefield’s soggy ground.
4. Hougoumont by Robert Gibb
Gibb’s painting of the closing of the gates at Hougoumont captures the desperate situation of the men defending the farm, late on the afternoon of the battle.
5. The British Squares Receiving the Charge of the French Cuirassiers by Félix Henri Emmanuel Philippoteaux
Philippoteaux’s depiction shows the French heavy cavalry crashing down upon the British squares like a great human wave. The Squares withstood numerous charges on the afternoon of 18 June 1815.
6.The Battle of Waterloo by William Allan
Allan’s painting captures the massive scope of the battle in which just under 200,000 men were fighting across a few square miles.
7. Prussian Attack at Plancenoit by Adolf Northern
In this rare depiction of street fighting during the Battle of Waterloo, Northern paints the desperate Prussian attacks on Plancenoit. It was the Prussians’ success here, on the French flank, that sealed Napoleon’s fate.
8. On the Evening of the Battle of Waterloo by Ernest Crofts
Crofts painted a number of scenes from Waterloo. Here, the battle’s immediate aftermath is depicted, with Napoleon’s staff urging him to leave the field in his carriage. Napoleon wished to remain and stand with what was left of the Old Guard.