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Napoleon's Soldiers: The Grand Armee of 1807 as Depicted in the Paintings of the Otto Manuscript Hardcover – 1 Dec 1994

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x908a2cfc) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9087ab2c) out of 5 stars An essential source 23 Jan. 2000
By Fred Hocker - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Otto Manuscript, containing a number of paintings of the soldiers of Napoleon's Grande Armee in the year of Friedland, was apparently painted from life by an amateur with an eye for detail. As a primary source, it is invaluable for its evidence of the actual appearance of the French army at the height of its greatness under Napoleon, and during a period when uniform regulations were altering the basic appearance of the soldier. This volume presents, for the first time, color reproductions of all of the plates, at a useful size, with commentary by the author. The reproduction is of excellent quality, and places this book on the "must have" list for anyone interested in Napoleonic uniforms.
The commentary is perhaps less consistently helpful. The author is apparently an amateur scholar and unfamiliar with the conventions of referencing sources. He also does not have a very good eye for detail, as in several places he makes observations concerning the paintings that are belied by a careful examination of the illustration. His views on the fading/discolouration of watercolor pigments do not reflect much familiarity with the chemistry and behaviour of those pigments, and so the comments regarding each figure must be treated cautiously. On the other hand, his introduction provides an excellent exposition of the history of the document and a cogent analysis of its reliability.
Despite these minor failings, Mr. Dempsey is to be commended for bringing these paintings to publication in a work of such a high standard.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x910d4e94) out of 5 stars Outstanding. 11 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Little needs to be said. If this book were only a reproduction of these illustrations, it would be a bargain, but Dempsey's commentary provides a great deal of insight placing the illustrations in context and identifying anomolies and commonalities.
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