Saturday, 17 October 2015

Colonel Just-Antoine-Henry-Marie-Germain de Rostaing

This is the Marquis de Rostaing, the first of a trio of French officers for the AWI who I'll be posting about each day from now to Monday.  He is from the Perry Miniatures set AW148, "mounted French colonels", and I have painted each of the 3 figures as a specific individual. 

Born on 24 November 1740, Rostaing was a page of Louis XV and joined the army in his late teens, joining the cavalry as a lieutenant.  He then transferred to the infantry, becoming colonel of first the Auxerrois regiment and then the Gâtinais regiment in 1778.  His service in the AWI and, in particular, during the Yorktown campaign earned him promotion to brigadier rank in 1781 and then to marechal de camp.  After the war Rostaing, along with many senior military officers, was elected to the Estates-General of 1789, a meeting of France's three "estates" (i.e. the clergy, the nobility and the general populace), which was summoned by Louise XVI to help resolve France's financial problems.  This blog is not the place to go into the how's and why's of the French Revolution, but the meeting of the Estates-General in May 1789 was not a success and the Third Estate, representing the commom people, broke off to form a National Assembly with a view to governing France.  Two months later the Bastille was stormed.   Rostaing may not have been a fervent revolutionary, but he was clearly a man who saw that things had to change.  He served in the National Assembly and was appointed to the important Comité militaire  which supervised the new Republic's military affairs.   In 1792 he was promoted lieutenant general and seems to have retired soon afterwards.  He died in 1826.

I have painted Rostaing as a colonel of the Gâtinais Regiment (which I painted in 2011 - see here), hence the purple facings.  He remained colonel of the regiment until 1782, by which time it had been renamed the Royal-Auvergne regiment, as recognition for its heroics in taking Redoubt No.9 at Yorktown (the regiment eventually became the 18th Line).  Rostaing and his regiment were present at Savannah and Yorktown, so at the former battle he would have been 39 years of age.  This Perry sculpt looks about right for that age, I think.  I will be using these three mounted officer figure for, in effect, brigade commanders.  In the "British Grenadier!" scenario books Rostaing appears as a brigade commander in the Yorktown redoubts scenario (in the forthcoming 4th "British Grenadier!" scenario  book from Caliver).

1 figure.  Painted September 2015.



AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Lovely! Shading on white uniforms is always so hard. Your use of grey here is excellent. I also really enjoy the facial expression - which is so hard to do on 28mm figures. Well done Giles.

David said...

Excellent work as ever Giles. Clever use of standard figures to represent personalities. I may 'borrow' the idea!

Blue Max said...

Lovely figure, very inspiring !

Anonymous said...

Really nicely done Giles

Simon Jones said...

Truly excellent Giles