A military history of the late 17th century and the early 18th century
Thanks Ralphus! The print shown is available through Granger Fine Art, with no artist or engraver credited, but with the following attribution:"JOHN CHURCHILL (1650-1722). 1st Duke of Marlborough. English military commander. When an ensign in the foot guards in 1668. Contemporary engraving."The 1668 date certainly makes his appearance a little more credible, although I still think it's just a unique figure that could find it's way into a variety of vignettes.Bill
The original print can be found here:http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84085483But the legend has a very different story to tell:"Mr. de Marleborough tel qu'il était en 1668 quand il servait en qualité d'enseigne dans le Régiment des Gardes Françaises. Gravé d'après Vandermeulen."So here, the unit is the Gardes Françaises, and the artist is named: Van der Meulen.
Anonymous;Thank you Sir/Madam! That actually makes more sense given his personal history and previous service in France. It also explains the "frilly" nature of the costume a little better. many thanks!Bill
I added my two cents' worth on the subject while discussing this print with Dave Woodward on the Steve Dean forum. The print is definitely after Van Der Meulen, but I wouldn't give too much creedence to the caption : the future Duke of Malrborough never served in the Gardes Françaises, though he was a Foot Guards ensign in 1668 before he went to Tangiers. Since the French had tended to favour longer coats since the early 1660's, the bolero-type jacket shown here seems more representative of mid-1660's English and Dutch fashions and I don't think Churchill would have been dressed that way at Seneffe. My take on this is that he would have worn the same type of French coat as Monmouth while serving in Louis XIV's Englih brigade. Still, Steve's figure is a very nice one and I've already ordered the pack anyway. Arthur
Arthur;Good to see you over here, I'm used to seeing you on the LoA Forum. Thank you very much for the clarification. I'm embarrassed to say that, after checking my own notes of all things, that you are correct about Young John's never being in the Garde Francais. No doubt the author of the caption meant the English Foot Guard, but tripped over his own translation.I was also gratified to note that you directed others to material posted here and on my other blog for further info on the English Brigade. It is indeed a mysterious subject, and one that we will probably never have definitive answers on until someone invents that "wayback machine". Again, thanks for the information and take care Sir.Bill
I agree with Arthur. The original drawing was by Van der Meulen but the print shown appears to be an early 18th century copy (see link, "Detailed information"):http://gallica.bnf.fr/Search?ArianeWireIndex=index&p=1&lang=EN&q=marleboroughSo the caption may be erroneous oder freely invented. The original may have had a different caption or none at all."Louis"
However, I think that the person shown is an ensign of the Gardes Françaises indeed as the colour clearly belongs to that unit. As for Steve's figure, I must admit that I don't like it that much. It lacks the elegance of the Van der Meulen figure."Louis" (again)
"Louis";I agree that the sculpt doesn't have the elegance and natural proportions of the engraving, or of a Hezzlewood, Ansell or Meier sculpt. However, it apparently does reward good painting skills, as Dave Woodward has done a very good job with it in this image that Arthur posted on the Steve Dean Forumhttp://www.sdean-forum.co.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=366771#p366771Bill
As for Steve's figure (painted or not): It remains a matter of taste, in my opinion.I tried to find the original Van der Meulen drawing but wasn't successful. So it may have been lost OR, more likely perhaps, the 18th century print may in fact have been copied from the figure of one of four ensigns of the Gardes Françaises as shown on Van der Meulen's painting of Louis XIV crossing the Pont-Neuf (the event took place in 1665, according to the latest research). As the Huchtenburgh engraving after Van der Meulen that can be found in the net offers the best resolution I suggest you check it out there (see link below). The ensigns are in the middle of the painting/engraving, in front of the pikemen before the statue of Henri IV. I'd say the ensign in question is the second from the right. BTW, as you can see, both styles of costume ("bolero-type jacket" and longer coat) are worn by the officers, which suits the date of 1665 well (a date of transition, in terms of fashion):http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marche_du_Roy_accompagn%C3%A9_des_ses_gardes_passant_sur_le_pont_neuf_et_allant_au_Palais.JPG"Louis"
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