Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Combat of the Thirty (1857)

Octave Penguilly L'Haridon: The Combat of the Thirty

M. L'Haridon was a Breton painter. His most notable work is the historical painting Combat des Trente (1857, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper). The elaborate frieze-like composition portrays the Combat of the Thirty, a famous episode in medieval chivalry during the Breton War of Succession. It depicts a late stage in the battle, when the dazed and exhausted combatants continue to hack away at one another on the verge of total collapse. The Revue française saw it as an example of L'Haridon's genuine interest in medieval culture, but objected that,
This is not history herself: living, human, full-blooded [...]. Skillful, ingenious, knowledgeable, well informed about all matters medieval... it lacks the most important quality - life.

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