Short of reserves during a Russian counterterattack to regain the strategic Pratzen Heights outside Austerlitz, Napoleon ordered forward a portion of the Guard Cavalry. After initial success the cavalry faltered before the overwhelming numbers of the Russian Guard but had bought enough time for the infantry reserves to reach the gap. With the hole in the French line secured, the remaining squadrons of the Chasseurs along with squadrons of Mamelukes and Grenadiers charged to their embattled compatriots' aid. They were led by General Rapp who wrote of the encounter: "...The enemy cavalry was slashing at our troopers ... then let go and turned on me. Four cannon were brought up at the gallop, unlimbered and set up in battery ... We charged the artillery and captured it. The enemy cavalry stood firm awaiting our attack, then broke under the shock and fled in disorder."
Keith Rocco's painting captures the fury of the regiment at the height of the charge, having just overrun the Russian battery. The regiment's Colonel Morland can be seen in the foreground, mortally wounded, as his men follow pressing home the attack. Mr. Rocco possesses a unique ability to capture the authentic feel and rich texture of military history and has few peers. His narrative painting style has been compared with classic Napoleonic painters such as Detaille and DeNeuville. His paintings are painstakingly researched and this limited edition print is accompanied by a descriptive text and certificate of authenticity.
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