Some of the earliest photographs of veterans on Earth are a series of 15 original sepia images of members of Napoleon’s army. They were taken in their advancing years in the 1850s and keep in mind that some of these men were born in the late 1700s.

The portraits measure 12″ tall by 10″ wide and are mounted on stiff card. At some point in the 20th century, the name of each veteran and his regiment was inscribed in pencil on the reverse of each photograph. The identity of the photographer is unknown, but the originals form a part of a collection held at the Brown University Library where you can see the entire collection.

Some are distorted visually, which is due to subject movement as exposure times for the era were far longer than today. However, a handful of the photographs are beautifully detailed and lend well to the art of colorization. Over 60 hours of work has gone into realizing these men in true color once again. All the pictures are colorized by My Colorful Past via the Brown University Library.

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Monsieur Moret, 2nd Regiment, 1814-15

Sergeant Taria, Grenadiere de la Garde, 1809-1815

Monsieur Loria 24th Mounted Chasseur Regiment Chevalier of the Legion of Honor

Monsieur Ducel Mameluke de la Garde, 1813-1815

Grenadier Burg, 24th Regiment of the Guard, 1815

Monsieur Dupont, Fourier for the 1st Hussar

Quartermaster Fabry, 1st Hussars

Monsieur Dreuse of 2nd Light Horse Lancers of the Guard, c. 1813-14

Monsieur Maire 7th Hussars c. 1809-15