Jules Girardet (1856–1946).
General de Lescure, wounded, crossing the Loire from Saint-Florent with his defeated army
Oil on canvas, signed and dated 1882. 152 cm x 249 cm.
Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, Birkenhead
Here is a striking image of the conflict in the Vendée to be admired in an unexpected location!
Girardet's canvas captures the moment when the stricken general Lescure was ferried across the Loire from Saint-Florent, with his wife, daughter and father-in-law.
Lescure had been shot in the head by a musket ball and seriously wounded at La Tremblaye on 15th October 1793, just prior to the decisive Royalist defeat at Cholet. He had opposed the crossing and declared his wish to die in the Vendée, but in the end he had little choice. He was carried slowly and painfully by his men on the long retreat of the Vendéan army, to die finally at Laval on 2nd November. His passage across the Loire is described vividly in the Memoirs of his widow, the Marquise de La Rochejaquelein: