18th-Century Provincial German School

Cavalry Battle

18th-Century Provincial German School

Cavalry Battle

This late 18th-century provincial oil painting depicts a cavalry battle involving various armies. It’s an unusual scene as it contains several uniforms and various weapons.

The main figure is a soldier wearing a blue tunic and carrying a spear. His uniform quite possibly relates to the Ural Cossacks. We also see several troops wearing, what appears to be, British uniforms. While over on the left, a soldier wears a light blue tunic.

In 1799, during the War of the Second Coalition, Ural regiments took part in the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland. The campaign consisted of British and Russian troops and aimed to destroy the Batavian fleet while also providing a catalyst for an uprising. It was a bloody affair with initial success followed by retreat and numerous casualties.

This painting was possibly created to celebrate those early successes, of which the Ural Cossacks were a part. It’s particularly interesting from a historic point of view as the cossacks were known to opt for a long spear, while the British were reliant on swords. Note also the discarded flintlock pistol.

Alternatively, it could relate to the Russian invasion of East Prussia in 1758. If you’re a military historian and can shed any further light on this piece, please do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

The painting was previously in the collection of Countess Finck von Finckenstein-Brinkama.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 29” x 21” / 74cm x 53cm
Year of creation: c. 1800
Condition: Craquelure but the paint is stable. Minor paint loss. Frame with some wear. Can be cleaned if required.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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