Friday, December 27, 2013

Cruel Tradition

Druids offering human sacrifices by the French artist Alphonse de Neuville (1835-1885). This book illustration was done for Guizot's History of France. Neuville studied under Eugène Delacroix and was one of the most famous illustrators of his time.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Lost Liberty

Martha the Mayoress by the Russian painter Alexey Kivshenko (1851-1895). Martha the Mayoress, was the widow of Novgorod's mayor. According to legend and historical tradition, she led the republic's struggle against Muscovy between her husband's death and the city's eventual annexation by Ivan III of Russia in 1478. After the defeat Martha was escorted to Moscow with the veche bell the symbol of Novgorod's liberty.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Romantic Death

The Death of Josselin by the Italian painter Massimo Taparelli, marquis d'Azeglio (1798-1866). A legendary crusader is dying in a beautiful exotic land. The landscape is pure fantasy only the palm tree indicates that all this is happening somewhere far far away.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Battle Choreography

The Battle of the Lech in 955 by the German painter Michael Echter (1812-1879). To paint as much brave German warriors as possible and to achieve the popular pyramidal choreography Echter put the foot soldiers ahead of the attacking knights which no partly clever commander would have done.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spoils of War

Cromwell in the Battle of Naseby in 1645 (1851) by the English painter Charles Landseer (1799-1879). Lanseer depicted here not the battle action but the victors and the spoils. In front there is a dead women a hint to the over 100 women camp-followers the parliamentarian troops also hacked to death believing they were Irish.