Alphonse Marie de Neuville was born in Saint Omer in 1836 and is famous as a painter particularly for his passion for the army and for military themes.
From a young age de Neuville was encouraged by his schoolmaster, who noticed that he had a talent for drawing. Early in his career he became acquainted with Delacroix and, in 1859, he won a medal for the first painting he exhibited.
He was later commissioned by the Cercle Artistiques to paint Garibaldi Taking Waves and with this, and subsequent commissions, he rapidly acquired the respect of the artistic establishment.
De Neuville was too weak to take part in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and this meant that he was able to concentrate on being a chronicler in paint instead. A succession of successful military canvases established his position and his work is now exhibited in many public galleries, including the Museums of Lille and Dijon.