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Record of historical events

Victoria and Albert collected photographs that documented the political and military events that defined a period of global expansion

ROGER FENTON (1819-69)

General Pierre François Joseph Bosquet (1810-1861)


Albumen print | 17.2 x 11.2 cm (image) | RCIN 2500328

General Pierre Bosquet (1810-61) was a highly successful divisional commander in the French army throughout the Crimean campaign. His skill and experience made him a popular figure with the troops. He also had a poetic turn of phrase, the most famous of which, in response to the Charge of the Light Brigade, was ‘C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la guerre; c’est de la folie’ (‘It’s magnificent, but it’s not war; it’s madness’).

In all of his portraits by Fenton, Bosquet poses with such complete confidence and self-assurance. He is either gazing directly at the camera or presenting himself as a man of action by giving orders to his subordinates. Unlike some of the other senior commanders who are happy to present themselves reclining in a deck chair like General Estcourt, Bosquet appears to be highly aware of the potential impact a formal photographic portrait could have.

  • Creator(s)

    View person page

    Roger Fenton (1819-69) (photographer)

  • 17.2 x 11.2 cm (image)

    57.3 x 44.6 cm (page dimensions)

  • General Bosquet

  • Subject(s)
    • Social sciences
      • Military affairs
        • Wars, Campaigns & Battles
          • Wars
            • Wars of the nineteenth century
              • Crimean War (1853-1856)