Painted to mark the seventieth aniversary of the Battle of Waterloo Ordered to the Front, 1815, depicts an ensign carrying halting a carriage to summon an officer to the front. The officer's wife is distraught. They have just married, and guests are still to be seen on the lawn in front of the house. The picture displays Waller's ability to combine his skills both as an animal and genre painter, and as the master of Regency genre.
Samuel Edmund Waller was born and educated in the Cotswolds. He was apprenticed to his father who was an architect. An interest in architecture was to remain with him life-long: mellow Cotswold Manor houses often form the backdrop to his pictures. A love of horses, painted from life and meticulously drawn, also manifests itself in his work.
Waller's pictures capture the spirit of Regency England as seen through 19th century eyes and are the pictorial equivalents of the novels of Jane Austen, Mrs Gaskell and Thackeray with his 'gallant youths, sweet maids, and noble horses'. The popularity of his work is reflected in the success of the printed reproductions of his pictures which found a ready market amongst the urban public.