Edouard Detaille grew up in a prosperous military family in Picardy; his grandfather had been an arms dealer for Napoleon. Detaille's father was an amateur artist who was friends with many collectors and painters, including Horace Vernet and he encouraged his son's artistic endeavors. His father asked Meissonier if he could introduce his son to Alexandre Cabanel for an art education. At the young age of seventeen, he began his training under the prestigious military painter Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier.
Edouard Detaille made his debut as an artist at the 1867 Salon with a painting of his teacher's studio. At the Salon of 1868, Edouard Detaille exhibited his first military painting, The Drummers Halt, which was based on his imagination of the French Revolution. With Repose During the Drill and Camp St Maur, which he debuted the following year, Detaille established his reputation as a military painter.
Detaille enlisted in the French Army's 8th Mobile Battalion when the Franco-Prussian War started in 1870; in a short time, he was seeing and experiencing war for real. This experience allowed him to produce his celebrated portraits of soldiers and accurate depictions of military maneuvers, uniforms, and military life in general. In the 1890s, Edouard Detaille painted an ever increasing number of oil paintings inspired by the Napoleonic wars. He used period uniforms regalia to perfect the accuracy of his paintings.
In 1912, Edouard Detaille created new uniforms for the French army. They were rejected by the Minister of War, but the blue-gray great coats he designed would influence later World War I French uniforms. During his life, he had amassed an impressive collection of military uniforms and artifacts for his paintings research and bequeathed it all to the Musée de l'Armée in Paris following his death.
Art Movement: Academic.
Artists Influencing Edouard Detaille: Jean-Louis Meissonier.
He Traveled To Algeria.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.