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Lucien Rousselot

Lucien Rousselot, born in 1900 and died in 1992, is a French painter, illustrator, and titular Painter of the French Army. He was born in France at a time when the 1871 military defeat by Prussia was still very present in the psyche of the French people. After all, it had not been long since the French army under Napoleon I had not only amazed the world, but had stood victoriously astride the whole of Europe. Indeed, triumphant armies guided by the military genius of Bonaparte had marched down the avenues of Paris to the delight of enormous crowds.

It is no surprise, therefore, that the talented young Rousselot decided to devote much of his life to recreating the martial splendor of France’s greatest age. The Napoleonic period offered innumerable opportunities for his skills, as uniforms varied widely in style and color, as befitted an age when individual glory still counted for much on Europe’s battlefields.

Rousselot received his artistic training at the renowned School of Decorative Arts in Paris while at the same time immersing himself in the study of the classic military illustrators and became one of the world's most important military artists, playing an integral role in establishing uniformology (the study of military uniforms) as a true science. During his career, as a painter and illustrator of military subjects, he produced an abundant iconography dealing with uniforms worn by the French Army over the period from the 16TH century to the end of the 19TH Century. From the 1920s he collaborated as an illustrator and uniformologist at the magazine Le Passepoil, directed by Eugène-Louis Bucquoy, for whom he also illustrated some of the large series of plates devoted to the uniforms of the First Empire that Bucquoy published between 1907 and 1952, Les Uniformes du Premier Empire. A member of La Sabretache, he also contributed to the magazine Le Carnet de la Sabretache until the 1990s. What is considered his major work is the series of 106 uniformological plates dealing with French uniforms worn during the 18th and 19th centuries L'Armée française, ses uniformes, son armement, son équipement that he made from 1943 to 1971. This series of plates is considered one of the primary reference works on the French uniforms of the 1st Empire.  

In In the 1960’s, he created another set of excellent plates illustrating iconic units of French Napoleonic cavalry: Known as the "Soldats d'Autrefois", there are 4 booklets with 6 plates each and they show the Carabiniers, Hussards, Gardes d’Honneur, and Mamelukes.
And in 1969 he published a series of plates on Napoleonic uniforms in collaboration with the SCFH (Societe des Collectionneurs de Figurines Historiques).