1814. Campagne de France (Napoleon and his staff returning from Soissons after the Battle of Laon), Presented at the 1864 Salon
I have been longing to see this painting in person. I had the opportunity to read about Meissonier two summers ago in a great book entitled: The Judgement of Paris. The author gave an amazing account of what went on behind the scenes in the Paris art world.
This painting is small. It might be two feet wide.
Meissonier was a legend for the amount of detail he put into his paintings. They took years to complete and he usually re-enacted the scene several times using live actors and horses. Even flour was used for the snow. Very very expensive techniques to create these tiny masterpieces.
There wasn't a soul near me as I moved in with my camera. The painting is hanging in a very quiet hallway in the Musee d'orsay. I might have missed it. But that hat always catches my eye.