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French Troops - A Field Day

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1911 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Thompson, G. H. (artist)
    Nister, Ernest, born 1842 - died 1909 (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on board

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Ernest Nister (1842-1909) began his publishing career in 1885 when he acquired a lithographic workshop in Nürnberg and printed books for London publishers. In 1888 he became a publisher in his own right with offices at 24 St. Bride Street, London. He appointed the writer and editor, Robert Ellice Mack, as director.

Nister specialised in high quality colour printing for children in the last quarter of the 19th century. Movable books with various mechanisms became his speciality after 1890 (when be published his first stand-up book) but he also produced numerous picture books, annuals, poetry, nursery rhymes, calendars and greetings cards. He worked with a core of writers, including Clifton Bingham and Robert Ellice Mack, and illustrators, in particular Eveline Lance, Harriett M. Bennett, Edith A. Cubitt and Rosa Petherick.

Physical description

Watercolour drawing on board depicting French troops on a battlefield. In the foreground an officer runs ahead of a troop of soldiers running with rifles. In the background are mounted soldiers, soldiers with canons and other infantry on foot. The soldiers fight in a field, on the left of the drawing in the foreground is a wooden plough left in the soil.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1911 (made)


Thompson, G. H. (artist)
Nister, Ernest, born 1842 - died 1909 (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on board

Marks and inscriptions

Bookplate on verso reads: 'From the Library of Anne Renier and F.G. Renier'

Initialled by Anne Renier in ink on verso: 'AR'

Inscribed in blue crayon on verso: '12/12', 'XXIV', '7' and '8237'

Inscribed in pencil on verso: 'French Troops - A Field Day'

Initialled by the artist in bottom left corner: 'HT'

Inscribed in ink on verso: 'H. Thompson'

Inscribed in pencil on recto: '57', 'For 1/- Toy Book Soldiers of the World' and 'French Troops - A Field Day'


Height: 260 mm Mount, Width: 300 mm Mount

Object history note

Drawn by G. H. Thompson in 1911 for Ernest Nister. Bequeathed to the V&A in 1970 by Anne Renier and Fernand G. Renier as part of the Renier Collection.

Descriptive line

Watercolour drawing by G. H. Thompson, 1911; produced for Ernest Nister.





Subjects depicted

Cavalries; Battles; War; Horses; Rifles (long guns); Wars; Rifles (artillery); Canons; Battle-fields; Fighting; Ploughs; Infantries; Soldiers


Drawings; Illustration; Books; National Art Library

Production Type



National Art Library

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