For the second post of this month I'm sharing with you images I had access trough an acquaintance of mine on Facebook. Sorry for the lack of information about them. The few thing that I could find out were that these images belong to several books by Swebach-Desfontaines, a painter from the French 1st Empire specialized in war scenes, and in one of them, “Encyclopédie Pittoresque”, he drew about 84 images, in 1806. Unfortunately, not only am I only 99% sure about what I'm saying but also not able to give you a free link to it or the names of other of his publications. Even so, I wanted to share them with you.
As you probably already have seen throughout my blog, is that I enjoy period images and these ones really caught my attention, in a multitude of perspectives, specially the one closest to my heart. And by this I refer the day-to-day life in military camps and the presence of women in them. And I repeat it again, I do love people who have left us drawings and painting form back then, and Swebach, just like Lévéque, is now one of my favorites.
Just to think that these drawings were moments that the author captured, just like today's photo cameras. Makes one think what happened in these moments, in these situations, that captured his attention. What happened? Who were these people? Who were these women? What were these women's names? Why were they there? What happened to them? Why were they forgotten?
We all know the general explanations to that, but wouldn't it be great to actually be able to really know about them, if not even possible to speak to those women? Wouldn't it be great to know what went through their minds?
And what would their thoughts be about some of the chauvinistic interpretations of History one can find in today's Napoleonic re-enactment?
Wouldn't they just laugh their hearts out? Wouldn't the men beside them on this images support this laughter? Wouldn't there be thousands of little stories to tell about these women's bravery?
Well, if you still had any doubts, here's the proof of the presence of women in the war scenes across Europe during the Napoleonic wars. And I bet that they weren't all “working women”.Yes, I know... I'm awful!