Quiberon fights

Quiberon fights

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Title: Battle of Quiberon in 1795.

Author : SORIEUL Jean (1824 - 1871)

Creation date : 1850

Date shown: July 21, 1795

Dimensions: Height 132 - Width 232.5

Technique and other indications: Oil on canvas

Storage location: Cholet Art and History Museum website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

Picture reference: 95DE11331 / Inv. 986.0073

Battle of Quiberon in 1795.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - G. Blot

Publication date: February 2005

Historical context

On June 27, 1795 in the bay of Quiberon, the British fleet landed on the beach of Carnac more than four thousand emigrants and a few hundred French prisoners conscripted. The military attempt by England and the emigrants to reestablish royalty and rekindle civil war in France has just failed.

Image Analysis

Entrenched in the fort “Sans-Culotte”, renamed Penthièvre, which controls access to the Quiberon peninsula, the royalist army, placed under the command of the count of Puisaye, has had to face the republican troops since July 6. that prevent him from going out. An attempt was repulsed on the 7th. The whites, prisoners, experienced serious supply difficulties while General Hoche consolidated his positions. In the following days, the two armies reinforced themselves considerably, the whites with the arrival by sea of ​​immigrant regiments commanded by a young man of 25, Charles de Sombreuil, the blues thanks to reinforcements in men and food requested by Hoche. On the 16th, an attempt to get out of the whites again fails, and the Blues no longer doubt the final victory. They launched an offensive and seized the fort, which was deemed impregnable. The Comte de Puisaye fled and left de Sombreuil in charge. Sorieul represented his last heroic resistance efforts: under the leadership of M. de Sombreuil, shown on the left of the painting surrounded by his last faithful, the fighters of the royalist army tried to stop the advance. blues and protect the hundreds of women, children, wounded soldiers and old men who, behind them, in a poignant disorder, vainly try to reach the English fleet. A few minutes later, Hoche and the representatives on mission, Tallien and Blad, will ratify the surrender of M. de Sombreuil. The white army is defeated, the Quiberon expedition a bitter failure for the royalist cause.


Under the Empire, the publication of several testimonies of actors of the Quiberon expedition revived the interest of historians and artists for the events of July 1795. We also noted a little later, in October 1829, the inauguration two commemorative chapels erected in memory of the royalist victims of Quiberon. Finally, Sorieul also evokes, through the intermediary of the cross formed by the rifles of M. de Sombreuil and a soldier placed behind him, the mass said by Mgr de Hercé on Sunday June 28, 1795, the day after the landing, and the "Cross of the emigres" soon erected in memory of this day.

  • army
  • Brittany
  • chouannerie
  • counter-revolution
  • Convention
  • revolutionary wars
  • Vendée
  • beach
  • blockade


François FURET, “Vendée”, “Chouannerie”, in François FURET and Mona OZOUF (dir.)Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution1988, re-ed. “Champs”, 1992. Jean-Clément MARTIN, “La Vendée region memory” in Pierre Nora (dir.)Memorial place, volume I “La République” Paris, Gallimard, 1984, re-edition “Quarto”, 1997. Jean-Clément MARTINWhites and Blues in the torn VendéeParis, Gallimard, “Découvertes” collection, new edition, 2001.

To cite this article

Pascal DUPUY, "Battles of Quiberon"

Video: La presquîle de Quiberon