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Arts graphiques

XVI-XIX siècle
Cavalry Charge (c) RMN-Grand Palais (musée Magnin) / Franck Raux
Cavalry Charge

Cavalry Charge

At the beginning of the 17th century, Courtois introduced a genre that promised to be a great success. His battle scenes were in demand all over Europe. Sketches like this one formed a repertoire of ideas that he turned to when creating more complex pictorial compositions. Here we find vibrancy in the line, barely sketched figures, a simple landscape suggesting distant horizons, with dynamic spirals forming the clouds. His unusual portrayal of the horses distinguishes them from the stiff, stereotypical depictions of his contemporaries. The wash highlights give substance to the figures in the foreground. The lighting – created here by leaving the paper blank – enhances the hindquarters, the silhouettes in the background and the extent of the battlefield.

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