Sunday, January 16, 2011
Baroque painting - Philips Wouwerman on Polish-Swedish "Deluge'
both at the Hermitage, Russia, and at the National Gallery, UK, there are painting showing a battle scene between Western soldiers with blue and yellow colors (colors of Swedish army at the time) and somewhat 'oriental' looking cavalrymen. This is perhaps one of a few scenes where our master Wouwerman painted a scene from the Polish-Swedish was known as the Deluge or Second Northern War (1655-60). Perhaps he heard of the exploits of the Stefan Czarniecki division of the Polish army in Denmark, also described by our Polish participant J.Ch. Pasek Polish Baroque memoirs
This is a scene showing a Swedish cavalry outfit-company or squadron - about to lose its color.
The Polish cavalrymen carry warhamers and battleaxes, and Wouwerman painted them with rather short sabers, but we can forgive him :) . There are several distinguished features attributable to Polish Cavalry of the times besides the warhammers and sabres, long lances, red or crimson color of their clothes, entirely fur or fur-trimmed caps with feathers, they appear to use a 'short seat' (shorter stirrup leathers), the same as the 'Polish rider' en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Polish_Rider in the Frick Collection, they use metal (gilded) decorated bridles, throatlatch of the center grey horse is decorated with a dyed red horse-tug...