Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Prussian Battle

Hochkirch by the German realist painter Adolf von Menzel. (1815-1905). Menzel shows here the inferno of a battle. Men are struggling to move forward, they are afraid. There is no dumb heroism.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Historical Drama

Eruption of Vesuvius by the English painter John Martin (1789-1854). Martin specialized in dramatic natural disasters and presented his paintings as a kind of pre-cinema.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sweet Kitsch

Lesbia Weeping over a Sparrow by the Dutch born British painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadelma (1836-1912).
Alma Tadema refers here to the poem Lesbia's Sparrow by the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus.
"All you Loves and Cupids cry and all you men of feeling my girl's sparrow is dead..."

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dramatic Attack

The phalanx attacking the centre in the battle of the Hydaspes book illustation by the French artist and engraver André Castaigne (1861-1929). Despite that the Macedonian phalanx attacked with the sarissa a 4 to 7 meterlong pike Castaigne depicts them here attacking with the sword because of the better dramatic effect.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Battle of Castillon

The Battle of Castillon by the French painter Charles-Philippe Larivière (1798-1876). The Battle of Castillon (July 1453) in Gascony was the last and decisive French victory and marked the end of the Hundred Years' War. Larivière shows here the death of the English commander John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury.