Jump to content


History Distorted by Paintings


10 replies to this topic

Post #1 Guest_Spitfrnd_*

Guest_Spitfrnd_*
  • Guests

Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:09 AM

I have often commented about the mistakes in horse poses and even anatomy caused by sculptors copying paintings without doing their own research.  Of course the same can be said of history in general.  Of course this is primarily a problem for black power age and earlier but there is no doubt that many historical paintings provide a distorted view of the scenes they are supposed to be representing.  I thought it might be interesting for us to share some of our favorite distortions in this tread.

 

To start, here is a well known painting of the supposed charge of Cuirassiers at Waterloo.  Notice how close so many are to the Highlander square here.  The fact is that simply did not happen and while a few may have gotten within a few yards, the bulk most certainly did not.  Contrary to popular myth, horses do not charge into squares and to be in full gallop as close as the front line shown here would have been pointless suicide.  But it certainly looks valiant, which I guess is the point.

 

Charge_of_the_French_Cuirassiers_at_Wate

 

So who has some other distorted history painting examples?



Post #2 Guest_Harrytheheid_*

Guest_Harrytheheid_*
  • Guests

Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:25 AM

It's an interesting topic Bill and I look forward to seeing how it develops.

I think that paintings distort events in a similar manner to the way "historical" movies distort events -- it's for dramatic effect.

Just my opinion of course.

Cheers

Harry



Post #3 Firebat

Firebat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 14,384 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey USA

Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:34 AM

I am beginning to learn History in whatever form has to be taken with a grain of salt.

 

 

Remember the old story if you line up 50 people and whisper a fact into the first persons ear, who passes it to the next etc., it will come out different at the other end.

 

 

That is what I like about what we do here. If someone is researching a project you can run it through the mill here and get an array of sound advise to help the project along.


More Money for the Charger Hellcat......This is only toys.


Post #4 valmy33

valmy33

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 437 posts

Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:09 PM

I have often commented about the mistakes in horse poses and even anatomy caused by sculptors copying paintings without doing their own research.  Of course the same can be said of history in general.  Of course this is primarily a problem for black power age and earlier but there is no doubt that many historical paintings provide a distorted view of the scenes they are supposed to be representing.  I thought it might be interesting for us to share some of our favorite distortions in this tread.

 

To start, here is a well known painting of the supposed charge of Cuirassiers at Waterloo.  Notice how close so many are to the Highlander square here.  The fact is that simply did not happen and while a few may have gotten within a few yards, the bulk most certainly did not.  Contrary to popular myth, horses do not charge into squares and to be in full gallop as close as the front line shown here would have been pointless suicide.  But it certainly looks valiant, which I guess is the point.

 

Charge_of_the_French_Cuirassiers_at_Wate

 

So who has some other distorted history painting examples?

A cavalry charge at Eylau : The Colonel Chabert movie

 

See and listen. We don't listen artillery and other weapons

 

 

 and now the reality :

 

 

 

The cavalry charges were rather slow and were made at a trot (the gallop being taken only for hundred in last two hundred meters): it was necessary to keepindeed at the same time certain alignment to increase the violence of the final shock the horses which were to be able to charge until ten or fifteen times ! in a long movement of flow and ebb. Frames and riders, asking a front of troops, had to suffer first of all the firing of the artillery (from eight hundred meters, then in grapeshot below four hundred meters), then face the shooting of the infantry (below hundred meters) and, by avoiding their knocked over companions, to throw against bayonets. Finally, in theory, because, in practice, horses refused to come.

 

Spit is totally right :  It's nice but it's not true


" The war, it is the war of the men ; the peace, it is the war of the ideas. " - Victor Hugo


Post #5 Guest_Spitfrnd_*

Guest_Spitfrnd_*
  • Guests

Posted 22 April 2014 - 02:22 PM

It's an interesting topic Bill and I look forward to seeing how it develops.

I think that paintings distort events in a similar manner to the way "historical" movies distort events -- it's for dramatic effect.

Just my opinion of course.

Cheers

Harry

Oh no doubt Harry.  Now where is your first example mate? :D



Post #6 Guest_Spitfrnd_*

Guest_Spitfrnd_*
  • Guests

Posted 01 May 2014 - 08:20 AM

Let's see if I can breath some life into what I at least think is an interesting topic.  Here is a classic painting of a pivotal event in the AWI.  It is actually repleat with errors.  Anyone care to list some of them?

 

Washington_Crossing_the_Delaware_by_Eman



Post #7 Phantom

Phantom

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 820 posts

Posted 01 May 2014 - 10:28 AM

# obvious ones are the flag which didn't exist at the year of the crossing; horses on the small boats; and the bright sky - the crossing took place in the rain in pitch dark.

 

Terry



Post #8 Guest_Harrytheheid_*

Guest_Harrytheheid_*
  • Guests

Posted 01 May 2014 - 11:15 AM



Oh no doubt Harry.  Now where is your first example mate? :D

I'd like to say there's absolutely no errors in this one whatsoever. Unfortunately, with the singular exception of the heraldry which is spot-on, it's replete with errors in its depiction of the  fighting during the second day, 24-June-1314, of the Battle of Bannockburn.

It's certainly a bonny picture though....                                                               :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:  :wub:   :wub:

 

bannockburn-l.jpg



Post #9 Guest_Spitfrnd_*

Guest_Spitfrnd_*
  • Guests

Posted 01 May 2014 - 11:51 AM

# obvious ones are the flag which didn't exist at the year of the crossing; horses on the small boats; and the bright sky - the crossing took place in the rain in pitch dark.

 

Terry

Correct on the first and third, close on the second.  Actually those are the wrong boats entirely and while the real boats could accommodate one or two horses, they would have actually sunk the boat if they acted like they are in the painting.  Any others?



Post #10 Guest_Spitfrnd_*

Guest_Spitfrnd_*
  • Guests

Posted 01 May 2014 - 11:51 AM

Great example Harry.  Let's try and add more.



Post #11 Guest_Spitfrnd_*

Guest_Spitfrnd_*
  • Guests

Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:37 AM

Here's another Napoleonic painting, this one featuring Colbert in a totally fictional position, as well as its other heroic but unrealistic French deployments.  This is supposed to be a representation of action in one of Colbert's Peninsula encounters against John Moore's army.  Of course if he had really been where he is shown, he would have been dead long before British 95th Rifleman Thomas Plunket's extraordinary 400 meter shot on the Astorga road. 

 

FrLancers-BlkWtchSq.jpg





Reply to this topic