Basile de Loose
Signed B. De Loose (lr)
Oil on canvas
18 3/4 x 22 inches (47.7 x 56 cm)
Here a gathering of French citizens examines a sheet of royalist propaganda featuring an equestrian portrait of Louis XVI, among them a cavalry officer raising his fist in outrage. He wears the uniform of the Hussards de la Mort (Death Hussars), a squadron of volunteer cavalry created by the French National Assembly in June 1792 in response to threats of an allied foreign invasion to depose the Revolutionary government. Composed of young men able to provide their own uniforms and military equipment, the Hussars were supplied with horses from the royal stables and placed under the command of General Francois Kellerman. They fought with distinction in the Battle of Valmy (September 20, 1792), the first military victory of revolutionary France.
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