Jean-Charles Langlois
Jean-Charles Langlois, known as The Colonel (22 July 1789 – 1870) was a French soldier
A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

 and painter
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...



Langlois was born in Beaumont-en-Auge
Beaumont-en-Auge is a commune in the Calvados department in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France. The city hosts one of the last kaleidoscope manufacturers in France.-Population:-Personalities:...

. He graduated from the École Polytechnique
École Polytechnique
The École Polytechnique is a state-run institution of higher education and research in Palaiseau, Essonne, France, near Paris. Polytechnique is renowned for its four year undergraduate/graduate Master's program...

 in 1806 and fought, as an infantry officer at the battles of Wagram
Battle of Wagram
The Battle of Wagram was the decisive military engagement of the War of the Fifth Coalition. It took place on the Marchfeld plain, on the north bank of the Danube. An important site of the battle was the village of Deutsch-Wagram, 10 kilometres northeast of Vienna, which would give its name to the...

, Gerona
Siege of Gerona (1809)
The Siege of Gerona of May 6, 1809, sometimes called the Third Siege of Gerona or Girona , involved the French Grande Armée's seven-month struggle to conquer the Spanish garrison at Girona...

 and Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

 with a bravery that had him seriously injured and appointed colonel at the young age of twenty-six.

After he retired on half-pay, Langlois devoted himself to painting. Studying with Girodet-Trioson
Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson
Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson January 5, 1767 – December 9, 1824), was a French painter and pupil of Jacques-Louis David, who was part of the beginning of the Romantic movement by adding elements of eroticism through his paintings...

, he specialized in landscapes, painting battles only, for he considered these to embody the most intense experiences life could offer. His paintings include the Fire of Moscow
Fire of Moscow (1812)
The 1812 Fire of Moscow broke out on September 14, 1812 in Moscow on the day when Russian troops and most residents abandoned the city and Napoleon's vanguard troops entered the city following the Battle of Borodino...

, the Battle of Eylau
Battle of Eylau
The Battle of Eylau or Battle of Preussisch-Eylau, 7 and 8 February 1807, was a bloody and inconclusive battle between Napoléon's Grande Armée and a Russian Empire army under Levin August, Count von Bennigsen near the town of Preußisch Eylau in East Prussia. Late in the battle, the Russians...

, the Battle of the Nile
Battle of the Nile
The Battle of the Nile was a major naval battle fought between British and French fleets at Aboukir Bay on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt from 1–3 August 1798...

, the Battle of Montereau
Battle of Montereau
The Battle of Montereau was fought near Montereau-Fault-Yonne on 18 February 1814 and resulted in the victory of the French under Napoleon Bonaparte against the Austrians and the Württembergers under the King of Württemberg.- Background :...

, the Battle of Borodino
Battle of Borodino
The Battle of Borodino , fought on September 7, 1812, was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the French invasion of Russia and all Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 troops and resulting in at least 70,000 casualties...

, the Battle of Wagram
Battle of Wagram
The Battle of Wagram was the decisive military engagement of the War of the Fifth Coalition. It took place on the Marchfeld plain, on the north bank of the Danube. An important site of the battle was the village of Deutsch-Wagram, 10 kilometres northeast of Vienna, which would give its name to the...

. He also used photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

 to document the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 where he traveled with photographer Léon-Eugène Méhédin
Léon-Eugène Méhédin
Léon-Eugène Méhédin was a French archaeologist, architect and photographer.Méhédin's career, a fervent Bonapartist, was greatly facilitated when he erected two triumphal arches in L'Aigle in 1851 to celebrate Napoléon III's French coup of that year...

. He specialized in panoramic painting
Panoramic painting
Panoramic paintings are massive artworks that reveal a wide, all-encompassing view of a particular subject, often a landscape, military battle, or historical event. They became especially popular in the 19th Century in Europe and the United States, inciting opposition from writers of Romantic poetry...

 after having seen the Panorama of Athens by the first French panorama painter Pierre Prévost
Pierre Prévost (painter)
Pierre Prévost was the first French panorama painter.Born in the city of Montigny-le-Gannelon, he was a student of Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes...

. Many of his panorama
A panorama is any wide-angle view or representation of a physical space, whether in painting, drawing, photography, film/video, or a three-dimensional model....

s were destroyed during the Siege of Paris
Siege of Paris
The Siege of Paris, lasting from September 19, 1870 – January 28, 1871, and the consequent capture of the city by Prussian forces led to French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the establishment of the German Empire as well as the Paris Commune....

 of 1870.

In 1873, Langlois' family bequeathed 256 paintings representing battles and military panoramas to the musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen
The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen is a fine arts museum in the French city of Caen, founded at the start of the 19th century and rebuilt in 1971 within the ducal château.-Opening :...

. These paintings were transferred in 1888 to the Pavillon des sociétés savantes, an 18th-century building spruced up at his niece's expense to house the Langlois museum.

Half of the works exhibited there were destroyed in 1944 during the Battle for Caen
Battle for Caen
The Battle for Caen from June-August 1944 was a battle between Allied and German forces during the Battle of Normandy....

. François-Émile de Lansac
François-Emile de Lansac
François-Émile de Lansac was a French painter.-Life:Lansac was descended of a family from Béarn, son of Arnaud de Lansac and Charlotte Émilie Coutures. He was born in Tulle , where his father, an Inspector General of the Treasury, was passing through with his spouse on an inspection...

 was his pupil.


  • Explication du panorama et relation de la bataille de Solferino, Paris, Dupont, 1866.
  • Explication du panorama représentant la bataille et la prise de Sébastopol, Paris, Havard, 1861.
  • Explication du panorama, et relation de la Bataille des pyramides: extraite en partie des dictées de l'empereur à Sainte-Hélène, et des pièces officielles, Paris, Didot, 1853.
  • Relation du combat et de la bataille d'Eylau, Paris, Panorama des Champs-Élysées, 1844.
  • La Photographie, la peinture, la guerre: correspondance inédite de Crimée (1855-1856), Éd. François Robichon, André Rouillé, Nîmes, Chambon, 1992. ISBN 2-87711-067-2
  • Panorama de la bataille de la Moskowa, Paris, Ducessois, 1835.
  • Voyage pittoresque & militaire en Espagne: dédié à S.E. Mr. le Mal. Gouvion St. Cyr, pair de France, Paris, Engelmann, 1826-1830.
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