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what color is napoleon’s white horse

what color is napoleon's white horse

what color is napoleon’s white horse

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Marengo (horse)

Marengo (c. 1793–1831) was the famous war horse of Napoleon I of France. Named after the Battle of Marengo, through which he carried his rider safely, Marengo was imported to France from Egypt following the Battle of Abukir in 1799 as a six-year-old. The grey Arabian was probably bred at the famous El Naseri Stud. Although small (only 14.1 hands (57 inches, 145 cm)) he was a reliable, steady, and courageous mount.

Career

Marengo was wounded eight times in his career, and carried the Emperor in the Battle of Austerlitz, Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, Battle of Wagram, and Battle of Waterloo. He also was frequently used in the 80-mile gallops from Valladolid to Burgos, which he often completed in five hours. As one of 52 horses in Napoleon’s personal stud, Marengo fled with these horses when it was raided by Russians in 1812, surviving the retreat from Moscow; however, the stallion was captured in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo by William Petre, 11th Baron Petre.

Petre brought the horse back to the United Kingdom and sold him on to Lieutenant-Colonel Angerstein of the Grenadier Guards. Marengo stood at stud (unsuccessfully) at New Barnes, near Ely, at the age of 27. He eventually died at the old age of 38, and his skeleton (minus two hooves) was preserved and later passed to the Royal United Services Institute and is now on display at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London.

One of the remaining hooves was given to the officers of the Brigade of Guards by John Julius Angerstein as a snuff box. The fourth hoof was mounted as a silver inkwell and retained by the family; it is still owned by the family but is now on loan to the Household Cavalry Museum. The Duke of Wellington was asked to disinter his own horse, Copenhagen, to be exhibited alongside Marengo, but refused to do so. Coincidentally, one of Copenhagen’s hooves was also later used as an ornament.

what color is napoleon's white horse
what color is napoleon’s white horse

What was Napoleon’s Favourite Colour?

Napoleon’s favorite color horse was white. He owned more than 50 white horses. Napoleon often carried chocolate with him while he was in the military. He believed it boosted his energy.

What color was Marengo horse?

Marengo was an Arab horse with a light grey coat, standing just over 14 hands high. Purchased by Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) after the Battle of Aboukir in 1799, he was named after the French victory at Marengo in 1800.

What’s the color of napoleon’s white horse?

White. But in horse-breeding terms, that’s called “grey” for some reason.

There are two reasons

There are a couple reasons for this, but it boils down to the fact that a horse’s color, as registered, is a matter of its hair color and skin color. A gray horse has gray hair (which may fade to white after a few years) and black skin; its hair may look white by the time it reaches adulthood, but it’s almost never born with white hair.

A true white horse usually means a cremello or perlino today — horses with a partial form of albinism, in which they lack pigmentation in the skin (making it pink) and sometimes the hair (even among cremellos and perlinos, it’s normal to have some pigmentation, making them a cream color instead of a true white). So a genuinely white horse is a pretty uncommon thing.

Napoléon Bonaparte reportedly rode over 130 horses during his 14-year reign, but only one ended up as taxidermy: the Arabian stallion named le Vizir. The white horse has long been on view at the Musée de l’Armée in Paris, but the over 200-year-old specimen experienced significant deterioration, including a deep crack that crawled over his shoulder. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign called “Sauvons Vizir” (or “Save Vizir”) that raised over $22,000, le Vizir is getting a much-needed attention, with taxidermists at work in the museum to restore some of his former glory.

what color is napoleon's white horse
what color is napoleon’s white horse

Le Vizir

As the military museum shared on Facebook, conservators Yveline Huguet and Jack Thiney began the first phase of restoration work two weeks ago, focused on some initial cleaning. Visitors to the museum, AFP reported, will be able to witness le Vizir’s restoration. Previously, he was displayed in a quiet hallway that visitors might only discover while trying to find the restrooms, his case off to the side, the only distinguishing feature that might catch the eye being an imperial “N” topped with a crown branded on his thigh. The restoration project will include fixing the tears in le Vizir’s body, rehydrating the skin, restored coloration, and finally placing the horse in a new climate-controlled case.

“Literally thousands of biographies of Napoleon have been written. It is said that Napoleon is among the top three subjects for biographies (the others being Lincoln and Lenin). Jill Hamilton has written a brief biography of Napoleon that gives special emphasis to the story of Napoleon’s horses, especially the Emperor’s most famous steed. The book is really Hamilton’s search for the historical reality behind the myth of a horse named Marengo.

Did Napoleon ride an Arabian horse?

Marengo, a nimble Arabian Stallion, was Napoleon’s favorite horse. Marengo, 1793–1831, was Napoleon’ favourite war horse and was imported from Egypt as a six year old in 1799 after the Battle of Aboukir. He was wounded eight times before being captured in 1815 during the Battle of Waterloo.

Why is a white horse called Marengo?

Named after the Battle of Marengo, through which he carried his rider safely, Marengo was imported to France from Egypt following the Battle of Abukir in 1799 as a six-year-old. The grey Arabian was probably bred at the famous El Naseri Stud.

Napoleon Fostered Cavalry and Horse Racing in the new French Republic

We can also credit Napoleon Bonaparte with re-opening many of the stud farms that had been closed during the revolution, for creating 30 stallion centres, three riding schools and for encouraging the sport of horse racing as he hoped that bloodlines would improve as breeders competed to create faster horses.

He can also be given credit for his enlightened attitude towards some age old customs such as docking tails. He would not allow horses with docked tails to be bought for himself or for the cavalry as he realized that horses get irritated and annoyed when they cannot swish flies away with short tails.

Napoleon himself kept a stable of 80 horses that he used for his personal use along with carriage horses but over his lifetime records show that he probably owned and used over 150 horses.

what color is napoleon's white horse
what color is napoleon’s white horse

1843

For most military steeds, that’s the end of the story, yet de Chanlaire decided it was important to preserve this faithful symbol of the late Emperor. However, after mounting the skin, he was concerned that the dead horse might be mistreated in post-Napoleonic France. So le Vizir was sent to England. His stuffing was pulled out so the horse could be flattened and fit into a traveling trunk. And le Vizir was puffed up again for display at the Manchester Natural History Society (now the Manchester Museum) in 1843. Those two taxidermy mounts, along with other restorations, caused the little horse to shrink even more.

When Napoléon III, nephew of the Emperor, came into power, le Vizir returned from exile in 1868. The horse was in good favor until this Napoléon also tumbled from the throne. And le Vizir descended into storage at the Louvre. Three decades of obscurity followed before his worn body was unearthed and relocated to the Musée de l’Armée.

It’s quite a posthumous journey for a horse. Remains of Napoléon’s campaigns are strewn around Europe. They are including the skeleton of Marengo, who was seized as a war trophy at Waterloo. And whose bones are currently at Britain’s National Army Museum. At the Musée de l’Armée, le Vizir remains close to his Emperor, buried at the nearby les Invalides, his remains a tactile connection to the many horses that served on the 19th-century battlefields.

Marengo, a nimble Arabian Stallion, was Napoleon’s favorite horse.

Marengo, 1793–1831, was Napoleon’ favourite war horse. And it was imported from Egypt as a six year old in 1799 after the Battle of Aboukir. It is believed that he was bred at the well-known El Naseri Stud. He would prove to be reliable and incredibly tough despite being just 14.1 h.h. and would often take part in 80 mile gallops in around five hours’ time.

He was wounded eight times before being captured in 1815 during the Battle of Waterloo. William Henry Francis Petre, 11th Baron brought him back to England. And the horse was considered a real prize when sold to Lieutenant-Colonel Angerstein of the Grenadier Guards.  Marengo stood at stud at the age of 27, but was not successful as a stallion. And it didn’t sire any notable racehorses or even any winners.  The horse died at 38 years of age, an incredibly long life considering what he had lived through.

A star attraction

During his life in England, Marengo was a star attraction at public events. Marengo was displayed at exhibitions in Pall Mall and was shown alongside Napoleon’s saddle, bridle and boots.  His battle scars along with the bullet that stayed in his tail were mentioned along with the Imperial crown. And letter N that were branded on his hind quarters.

The artist James Ward created a powerful painting of Marengo with nostrils flared looking out to sea mourning his master, and he later sold thousands of these images as lithographs, which were art prints made by drawing on limestone with waxy crayons, and then applying ink onto the stone and printing the image onto paper. In this manner the first ‘colour prints’ were achieved. And Marengo was a popular print, framed and displayed in many English homes in the late 1820s.

what color is napoleon's white horse
what color is napoleon’s white horse

1840

Marengo was also featured on a set of four prints featuring himself. The Duke of Wellington’s horse Copenhagen, George III’s Adonis, and a Cossack charger.

Today, parts of Marengo are still on display. After the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, when the Captain sits down to lunch. In front of him he will see one of Marengo’s hooves covered with a polished silver lid. When the item (a snuff box) is not in use on the table, it sits on the nearby sideboard. On the lid is the inscription that reads, Hoof of Marengo, Barb charger of Napoleon, ridden by him at Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena, Wagram, in the campaign of Russia and lastly at Waterloo. This hoof was presented on April 8, 1840 by J.W. Angerstein Captain Grenadier Guards and Lieutenant-Colonel to his brother officers of the Household Brigade.

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