Client: Musée Militaire, Colombier, Neuchâtel

 

TM AG has enjoyed a long and happy working relationship with the museum, participating in the layout and design of parts of the permanent exhibition, various temporary exhibitions and the steady build up of a special permanent exhibition of the canton de Neuchâtel’s military experiences with an emphasis on the local Batallion de Neuchâtel in the service of Napoleon. Their yellow uniform coats earned them the nickname ‘The Canaries’.

Above: A Canary on campaign in Spain with his family – campaigning soldiers have usually gathered a tail of followers, wives and children and in the savage guerilla war some of the women shared their husband’s cruel fate.

Above: Young boys might be followers and were sometimes absorbed into the ranks.

We have attempted to show the Canaries as they : Young boys might be followers and were sometimes absorbed into the ranks.

We have attempted to show the Canaries as they really were, on service, rather than as ‘toy soldiers’ in full dress. Their casualties were heavy, and very few returned to their homes at wars end.

Below: During the retreat from Moscow in 1812 the Neuchâtel Battalion made a heroic stand at the Beresina river to try and protect the fleeing French army. This has often been portrayed in romantic style with the soldiers in full dress uniforms bravely and gloriously formed in ranks. In fact the conditions were horrifying and the men at the end of their strength. The painting of the panic on the bridge was commissioned by ‘Paradis Magazine’ in France and was enlarged to wall size and surrounded by the names of the dead as a monument to the fallen in the Musée Militaire, Colombier.

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