Émile Jean-Horace Vernet (1789 -1863) was a French painter of battles, portraits, and Orientalist Arab subjects.
He thought French art took itself too seriously because of it's focus on classicism. He rebelled by painting current events.
King Louis-Philippe and Napoléon III both commissioned him to paint wars.
When Vernet was asked to edit out a disliked general, he said 'I am a painter of history, sire, and I will not violate the truth.'
He painted a picture of some models sword fighting in the studio. Two dogs also play fight.
The other artists were painting the models, but Vernet was motivated to paint the entire scene. He wanted to document what happened in his studio, and how the other paintings were created.