The Hinton Hunt Catalogue says; “Marshal Josef Anton, Prince Poniatowski was not only a hero of Poland but was one of Napoleon’s most dashing Marshals. He cut a splendid figure in Lancer style uniform and fur cloak with his horse in an elaborately trimmed and tasselled harness”. It was pretty obvious to me as I painted this one that Marcus Hinton must have enjoyed sculpting him because the figure has some great detail and certainly captures the “dashing” look.
When I was in my early teens, and developing my interest in the Napoleonic Wars, I came across a book on the 1813 campaign. It was rather dry reading (as many such books were back then) but Poniatowski and his part in the battle of Leipzig fascinated me. He was the shortest serving of all Napoleon’s Marshals holding the rank for a mere three days before drowning whilst trying to swim to safety across the Elster river. He was a great friend with Murat and they must have had fun trying to out do each other with their taste for gaudy uniforms. Of course though, Poniatowski really was a Prince and hadn’t had one of Napoleon’s made up titles bestowed upon him - I wonder if Murat was annoyed by that?
This figure is one of only two “horse attached” castings amongst the Hinton Hunt personality figure range (the other being BRN/30 The Duke of Brunswick). I decided to give him a bay horse rather than the obligatory white one because I already have three personality figures riding white horses (and also I’m no good at painting them). Next up – Polish Lancers of the Guard.