Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier, also known as Ernest Meissonier, was a French painter with a proclivity for history and war paintings. Prodigiously talented, Meissonier began exhibiting at the French Salon at the age of 19. He trained in the studio of Léon Cogniet, but was largely self-taught; he honed his meticulous rendering of detail by studying the works of Dutch painters of the 17th century, as well as by closely observing costumes, armor, and nature. His favorite subjects were the Napoleonic wars and episodes in the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Though his paintings usually celebrated heroic military campaigns, Meissonier also depicted the horrors of war.