The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, is commemorating the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo with an exhibition exploring the battle confronting works of Art, armour and arms.
Highlights of the show include a recently restored monumental “cartoon”, a full-scale preparatory drawing on paper, for a fresco at the House of Lords in London. The work comprising 10 panels 3 metres high, totalling 13 metres in length, was realised by the Irish artist, Daniel Maclise, in his London home and unlike many British depictions of the battle which tend to focus on the glorious victory, shows a more sombre moment when Wellington meets Blucher, his Prussian ally, after the tiring day's battle, in front of the appropriately-named “Belle Alliance” inn, surrounded by dead bodies, and casualities from both British and allied sides. Maclise used many eye-witness accounts as the basis for the work. After this exhibition, the cartoon which is on loan from the Royal Academy of Arts will return to its home at Burlington House on 2nd September where it can been seen until the end of the year.
The exhibition also includes a huge historic scale model of the battlefield by Captain William Siborne. Like Maclise, he took the trouble to contact men who had fought at the battle, not only on the British side, in order to produce an accurate as possible vision of the battle as it might have appeared at precisely 1.30pm on 18 June 1815. Completed in 1843, the model is over five metres long and two metres wide and has been recently restored.
Among other notable exhibits are the painting “Scotland Forever!” (1881) by Lady Elizabeth Butler (on loan from Leeds City Art Gallery) and weapons used at the battle of Waterloo.
There will also be a Study Day organised around this exhibition on 13 June 2015.
Royal Armouries Museum
Open daily 10am – 5pm
Last admission 4.30pm
Practical information here.
Langue(s) : English