The artist's description of the painting is pasted on the verso of the painting:
'The picture represents the last desperate effort of Napoleon to force the left centre of the allied army and turn their position. In the centre … are several battalions of the Imperial Guard, formed into one massive column, led on by Marshal Ney, who… is received in front by Captain Bolton’s Battery, while General Maitland’s Brigade of Guards attack the French on their right, and General Adams’ Brigade assail their left. This combined attack throws the head of the French column into irreparable confusion, perceiving which, the Duke of Wellington, who, with his staff, is immediately behind Captain Bolton’s Battery, orders the general advance of the allied army, covered by arrange of batteries seen on the right and left of the Duke’s position. To the left of the Duke is the village of Mont St Jean and that of Waterloo, of which the church spire is alone visible. In the distance is the forest of Soignies. The farm of La Haye Sainte is seen at the bottom of the slope, close to the road from Brussels to Genappe; In the neighbourhood of the farm, and along the line towards Planchenoit, the French are seen in full retreat. On the extreme left of the spectator, the 23rd Light Dragoons are driving back the French Cuirassiers from their final attempt to silence the guns at the north-east angle of Hougoumont, from whence the smoke is issuing, the Chateau being then in flames. Beyond the smoke is the 71st Regiment, above which is seen the Nivelles road and the Church of‘ Braine La Leude’ in the extreme distance. Napoleon and his staff form the principal group in the foreground.'
Where to see this painting?
English Heritage, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House
Hyde Park Corner, London, Greater London, England, W1J 7NT
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.
More on this painting
management transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum to English Heritage, 2004