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View and Map of the Affair at Ratan, of August 20, 1809
This watercolor by the Swedish artist and draftsman Carl Gustaf Gillberg (1774–1855) depicts the fighting at Ratan on August 20, 1809 between the armies of Sweden and Russia. Contemporaneously with the Napoleonic wars, at the beginning of the 19th century Sweden and Russia fought what became known as the Finnish War, which had the effect of radically altering the political topography of the Baltic. Sweden’s defeat put an end to its domination in the region. Finland, previously a province of Sweden, became a grand duchy under the rule ...
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National Library of Sweden
Departure of Soldiers to a Battle
Originally, this unsigned wash drawing of soldiers leaving for battle was attributed to Johann-Philipp Lembke, but it is now considered to be the work of Jacques Courtois (1621-76). Courtois was a French painter who lived most of his life in Italy; he is also known as Il Borgognone. Following his training as an artist, Courtois served in the French military. He is widely recognized for his depictions of battles, often done in wash drawing. This style, which is produced by applying a series of monochrome washes over a pen or ...
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Brown University Library
The Somaliland Expedition. Colonel Plunkett's Disaster. Trapped. The Fight to the Death - near Gumbura
This pencil drawing and watercolor was created by Melton Prior (1845–1910) in British Somaliland (the northern part of present-day Somalia) in 1903. Prior had been sent by the Illustrated London News to cover a small conflict that had erupted between the British authorities and Mohammed bin Abdulla Hassan (circa 1856–1920), the “Mad Mullah” of Somaliland. On April 17, a small British force of some 230 British and Sikh troops, at left in the image, was surrounded by about 14,000 Somalis charging from all directions and completely destroyed ...
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Brown University Library
The Taking of Constantine, Algeria, 1837
This unsigned 1837 watercolor depicts French and native forces advancing across cliffs and through a breach in the wall of the fortified city of Constantine in Algeria. France was attempting to secure control of Algeria but was opposed by local tribes under Abd el Kader (circa 1807–83), the emir of Mascara. In October 1837 the French besieged and conquered the city, a victory that enabled them to secure a number of ports, but that still left them with no control over the interior of the country. Little is known ...
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Brown University Library
Emperor Aurangzeb at the Siege of Golconda, 1687
This gouache painting was created by an unknown Indian artist sometime in the mid-to-late 18th century, but it depicts an earlier event: the siege of the city of Golconde in south-central India by the last great Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb (reigned 1658–1707). Golconde was famous for its fort, palaces, factories, and ingenious water-supply system, as well as the legendary wealth from the city’s diamond mine. Aurangzeb was Sunni, while the rulers of the Deccan were Shia who accepted the suzerainity of the shah of Persia and resisted Mughal expansionism ...
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Brown University Library