Art of war on display in Leeds to remember Waterloo

Mark Murray-Flutter with the Duke of Wellington's telescope.

Mark Murray-Flutter with the Duke of Wellington's telescope.

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THE TALE of one of Europe’s most significant military encounters has made an eye-catching leap from the history books to the Royal Armouries museum in Leeds.

A major exhibition dedicated to the Duke of Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo opened at the museum today.

Timed to coincide with Waterloo’s forthcoming 200th anniversary, The Art of Battle brings together a range of paintings and artefacts to stunning effect.

The centrepiece of the free exhibition is Victorian artist Daniel Maclise’s epic Waterloo Cartoon, which measures 14 metres by three metres.

It is on public display for the first time in more than 40 years and is on loan from the Royal Academy of Arts.

Artwork on show also includes Scotland Forever! by Lady Elizbaeth Butler, The Retreat From Quatre Bras by Edward Crofts and The British Squares Receiving The Charge Of The French Curassiers by Felix Henri Emmanuel Philippoteaux.

Arms, armour and other items taking their place in the exhibition, meanwhile, include the telescope carried by Wellington during the never-to-be forgotten events of June 18, 1815.

A piece of French body armour shot through with a cannonball has also been loaned to the Royal Armouries from the Musée de l’Armée in Paris.

Senior curator Mark Murray-Flutter said: “This exhibition has taken a different approach to reflecting on this harrowing and remarkable battle.

“Exploring the representation in art together with arms and armour has helped us to understand and cast a different light on the events of that fateful day.

“The result is a moving and compelling retelling of the story of the Battle of Waterloo.”

The Art of Battle runs at the Royal Armouries until August 23.

For further information, visit www.royalarmouries.org.

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