On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

[Headless Cavalry Soldier Charging with Sword Drawn]


Not on view

Before the age of handheld cameras and rapid exposure times, it was extremely difficult to photograph soldiers in battle. To meet the demand for heroic images, some entrepreneurs prepared readymade photographic or lithographic templates depicting generic battle scenes that could be personalized by inserting the head of an individual soldier from a photograph made on the spot. In this as-yet-unpersonalized template marketed to French troops during World War I, a headless horseman gallops through a fantasy battle scene, complete with a battery of cannons and a biplane hovering overhead.

[Headless Cavalry Soldier Charging with Sword Drawn], Unknown (French), Gelatin silver print with applied color

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.