8 Iconic Paintings of the Battle of Waterloo

The Battle of Waterloo marked its 200th anniversary on the 18 June 2015 – it is perhaps the most famous battle of the 19th century and as such has been commemorated in hundreds of paintings.  Below are some of the most dynamic and eye catching artistic impressions of pivotal moments during the battle.

1. Battle of Waterloo 1815 by William Sadler

Waterloo - Sadler

William Sadler’s painting of the British infantry at Waterloo gives us an idea of the churning mass of men involved in the battle shrouded in smoke.

 2. Wellington at Waterloo by Robert Alexander Hillingford

Wellington at Waterloo - Hillingford

Hillingford’s iconic painting depicts the Duke of Wellington as a dynamic figure as he rallies his men between French cavalry charges.

 3. Scotland Forever! by Lady Butler

Scotland Forever lady Butler

Lady Elizabeth Butler’s spectacular painting of the Scots Greys charging, the terror and motion of the horses is perfectly captured. In reality the Scots Greys never reached more than a canter over the battlefield’s soggy ground.

 4. Hougoumont by Robert Gibb

Waterloo Hougemont gate

Robert Gibb’s painting of the closing of the gates at Hougoumont captures the desperate situation of the men defending the farm late on the afternoon of the battle.

 5. The British Squares Receiving the Charge of the French Cuirassiers by Félix Henri Emmanuel Philippoteaux

Squares at waterloo

Philippoteaux’s spectacular depiction of the French heavy cavalry crashing down upon the British squares like a great human wave. The Squares withstood numerous charges on the afternoon of the 18th June.

 6.The Battle of Waterloo by William Allan

Waterloo - Allan

Allan’s painting of the battle captures the massive scope of the battle with just under 200,000 men fighting in just a few square miles.

 7. Prussian Attack Plancenoit by Adolf Northern


Adolf Northern captures the desperate Prussian attacks into Plancenoit, a rare depiction of street fighting, Prussian success here on the French flank sealed Napoleon’s fate.

 8. On the Evening of the Battle of Waterloo by Ernest Crofts

On the Evening of the Battle of Waterloo

Ernest Crofts painted a number of scenes from the Waterloo. Here the battle’s immediate aftermath is captured as Napoleon’s staff urge him to leave the field in his carriage, Napoleon wished to remain and stand with what was left of the Old Guard.

Matt is a military history postgrad student, he graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2009 and runs HistoricalFirearms.info. He currently writes freelance for a number of publications, his current areas of interest are Britain during the Cold War, the history of small arms and the development and use of light infantry.