The Military Procession


This is the first of a pair of unsigned watercolors by the German artist Georg Emanuel Opitz (1775-1841). It shows a procession of cossack soldiers marching through Paris during the occupation of the city in 1814. Opitz, who focused on portraiture and caricature, traveled to Paris in 1813 and witnessed the arrival of Russian and Prussian forces in the city following the Battle of Paris. Until this battle, no foreign army had entered Paris in 400 years. The French defeat led to the abdication of the Emperor Napoleon. The watercolor is from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection at the Brown University Library, the foremost American collection devoted to the history and iconography of soldiers and soldiering, and one of the world’s largest collections devoted to the study of military and naval uniforms.

Last updated: July 8, 2014