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The Cruel Face of War, Hagenau, 1621-1622 by FritzVicari The Cruel Face of War, Hagenau, 1621-1622 by FritzVicari
ENGLISH (based on S.Valzania, Wallenstein, The Art of Warre's review of Walter Krüssmann, Ernst von Mansfeld (1580-1626)):

The drawing concept is based on a Frederick V's quote reported by Valzania. While campaigning with Von Mansfeld, in an unspecified date of 1622, the winter king is reported to have said:

"There should be a difference between friends and foes, but people such as them [the soldiers] doesn't really care. I think these men are possessed by the Devil, as they take pleasure in burning everything on their way."

While Valzania's volume is pretty biased for a XXI century book, portraying the protestants as bloodthirsty demons and the catholics as, substantially, the good guys, with Wallenstein being some kind of pacifist, I liked this particular section of the book, as it sheds, willingly or not, a very human light on Frederick. He is described as irresponsible for starting and carrying on the war, but on the other hand we know he was not a man of arms. It is easy to imagine how the young Elector may have been shocked and horrified by what he may had witnessed while on campaign and how he may have felt regretful due to the hard road the had decided the walk on when he accepted the bohemian crown.

Mansfeld's army spent the winter of 1621/22 in the area of Hagenau, were the soldiers continued to plunder. Frederick joined Mansfeld there. The scene take place on that very winter, with Von Mansfeld (horseman on the right) and Frederick (horseman on the left) spotting the rests of devastated humanity. Who commited the crime, Mansfeld's soldiers or the imperialists? It didn't really mattered: the crimes, even under dead penalty, were frequent and the criminals often impossible to indentify. That's the war. But Frederick doesn't know it as well as his general.

The drawing is inspired to by sadly famous World War 2 photograph ( [link] ) and by a scene from an old italian movie, "La Ciociara" (also known as "Two Women", starring Sophia Loren), a sad and realistic story on the cruelty of war on innocents - sometimes even by those that should be allies. I'd suggest you not to miss it, it won the actress an Academy Award, so it should be easy to find.


ITALIANO (basato su S.Valzania, Wallenstein e la recensione del blog The Art of Warre sul libro di Walter Krüssmann, Ernst von Mansfeld (1580-1626)):

L'idea dietro al disegno è basata su una frase attribuita a Federico V e riportato da Valzania. Durante la campagna con Von Mansfeld, in una data imprecisata del 1622, il re d'inverno pare abbia detto:

"Ci dovrebbe essere una differenza tra amici e nemici, ma gente come loro [i soldati] manda tutto in malora. Penso che questi uomini siano posseduti dal diavolo, poichè provano piacere a bruciare qualsiasi cosa sul loro cammino."

Nonostante io abbia qualche riserva sul volume di Valzania è piuttosto di parte per essere un libro del XXI secolo su eventi del 600, dato che raffigura i protestanti come sanguinari demoni e i cattolici come, sostanzialmente, dei bravi ragazzi, con Wallenstein come una sorta di pacifista, mi è piaciuta questa particolare sezione del libro per come getta, volontariamente o meno, una luce molto umana su Federico. Egli è descritto come irresponsabile per aver avviato e portato avanti la guerra, ma d'altra parte sappiamo che non era certo un uomo d'armi o un sanguinario per vocazione. E' facile immaginare come il giovane elettore potrebbe essere rimasto scioccato e inorridito da ciò che potrebbe aver visto mentre accompagnava l'esercito di Von Mansfeld e di come possa aver forse provato rimorso, vista anche la dura strada che aveva deciso di percorrere accettando la corona boema.

L'esercito di Mansfeld trascorse l'inverno del 1621/22 nei pressi di Hagenau e saccheggiò l'area circostante per sostentarsi e accumulare denaro per nuovi reclumenti. Federico vi raggiunse Mansfeld. La scena ha luogo in quello stesso inverno, con Von Mansfeld (cavaliere a destra) e Federico (cavaliere a sinistra) nei pressi di resti di umanità devastata. Chi ha commesso il delitto, i soldati di Mansfeld o gli imperiali? Non ha davvero importanza: i crimini, anche se punibili con la morte, erano frequenti e i criminali spesso impossibile da identificare. Questa era la guerra. E questo, a differenza di Federico, Mansfeld lo sapeva.

Il disegno si ispira a una foto tristemente famosa della seconda guerra mondiale ([link] ) e a una scena di un classico del nostro cinema, "La Ciociara" (con Sophia Loren), una storia triste e realistica su come la crudeltà della guerra non risparmi nessuno e arrivi, a volte, anche da parte di coloro che dovrebbero essere alleati. Se non lo avete visto, rimediate assolutamente.
:iconfarcelet:
farcelet Featured By Owner May 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
Great ambience buddy! Really like the perspective of the bodies (I'm doing something rather similar right now - I know it's pretty hard!) the riders' poses are great but I feel their heads are too large relative to their bodies, something the big hats only accentuates - specifically with the rider on the right. That said, there's a lot going right in this picture and it really does have a great feel to it! Good job!

Interesting description as always, too - looking forward to more!

Bjorn
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:iconfritzvicari:
FritzVicari Featured By Owner May 31, 2013  Hobbyist
Thank you for your kind words, as always! This time I followed your suggestions on contrast, or at least I tried, and I can say I'm pretty satisfied :D And yes, I'm totally agreeing with you about heads. I'm looking forward to see what you're working at now!
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:iconfarcelet:
farcelet Featured By Owner May 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
You're very welcome! I forgot to mention : the shading on the riders' armour is really good - I'll be looking forward to seeing more of that technique! :D

As for my drawing I'm still a long, long way off - though I've already put over two months into it. If all goes well it'll feature in the next Vikingr release! :D
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