Marius Vachon. Detaille. Paris, 1898, pp. 144–45, discusses this picture among a series of thirty-one reproduced in "Cavaliers de Napoléon," by Frédéric Masson (Paris, 1895); noting the youth and elegance of the cavalrymen, identifies them as members of the "gendarmes d'ordonnance," who were recruited from aristocratic families; reproduces a study for one of the soldiers.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, pp. 214–15, ill., note that the "gendarmes d'ordonnance" were squadrons established on December 24, 1806, to attract members of the nobility to the cavalry; mention several preparatory drawings, including one created twenty years earlier for "The Charge of the Ninth Cuirassiers at Morsbronn" (1874; Musée Saint-Rémi, Reims) [reproduced in Ref. Vachon 1898, p. 24].