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Orlando Norie (1832-1901) - French Zouaves on Manoeuvres c.1860
  • Orlando Norie (1832-1901) - French Zouaves on Manoeuvres c.1860

    Norie was renowned for his depictions of the British military with Queen Victoria comissioning him on various occasions. The artist was famed for his battle scenes and also his detailed portrayals of the various regiments in the British Army, including the officers. However, he also produced various works of the French military. The artist spent much of his career based in Dunkirk and had a studio there. Although Norie sometimes painted earlier military scenes from the Peninsular War which involved Britain and France, he generally focused on scenes that were contemporary to the public. This meant he could portray both the British and French armies without drawing criticism as they had been allies in the Crimean War.


    Norie's most interesting French military paintings are of their colonial troops based in North Africa. This helped to inspire various works of French campaigns into Algeria and Tunisia in particular. The Zouaves, that Norie has depicted on manoeuvre in this watercolour, were a class of light infantry regiments that served in North Africa between 1830 to 1962. Their distinctive uniform makes them immediately recognisable and Norie has most likely portrayed them with a North African landscape in the background. Equally, they may have been training in France c.1860 and Norie may have been invited to witness this event.


    Medium: watercolour on paper, signed l.r. 'Orlando Norie', 31.6 x 48.1 cm, framed.


    Provenance: The Parker Gallery, 2 Albermarle Street, London (label verso).


    Condition report: generally very good condition with fresh colours. There is a part of the upper sky that was previously under a mount that is obvious when viewed closely. There are small signs of discolouration in the sky, which again are not obvious. The small mark in the sky is a pencil mark which may have been done by the artist. The frame is in good condition but has a few scuff marks and there are traces of white paint on the bottom of the frame (see photos for example).

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