MAK

Volltext: Alte und Moderne Kunst XXVI (1981 / Heft 177)

J. F. Hayward 
A Netherlandish design for a 
parade shield 
The draWing which torms the subjeot ot this note 
was acquired about one hundred years ago by the 
Museum for the modest sum of six Gulden; unfor- 
tunately no information about Its provenance is 
available, lt is executed in brown ink, helghtened 
with blue wash, and shows the lower half of a 
decorative shield in Mannerist style of the third 
quarter of the sixteenth century (lig. 1). The draw- 
ing was originally completed by an upper half 
which is now lost, presumably destroyed. lt is now 
stuck down on stiffer paper and has been cut both 
at bottom and sides; as a result the point of the 
shield and the upper edge on the sldes are lost. 
Further, the drawlng shows no border, While the 
decoration runs so olose to the edge that some 
border would have been necessary. This may have 
been cut away, but may have been omitted inten- 
tlonally as it was not to be decorated. The drawing 
is executed to the actual size of the shield, 
measuring 39.8 crn. by 43 cm. Allowing for the 
upper half and for the missing point, the dimen- 
slons of the shield, If it were ever made, would 
have been approximately 84 cm. by 46 cm. The 
drawing is executed on two sheets of paperjoined 
horizontally, a third would have been necessary 
for the upper part of the shield. N0 Watermark can 
be seen, as the drawing has been stuck down on 
another sheet. 
The design is lncomplete as blank spaces have 
been left for the decoration ot four plaques, the 
lower one circular, the upper oval, flanked by two 
smaller ovalst These would on the completed 
shield have been decorated with flgure subjects or 
masks. Wrought separately, they would be attach- 
ed to the shield by rlvets, as they are on the con- 
temporary shield lllustrated in fig. 2. They were 
probably left blank so that the cholce of subject 
that deoorated them could be determined in con- 
sultation with the eventual owner of the shield. An 
alternative explanatlon is that their design was 
lelt to a speclallst Who possessed the requisite 
knowledge of classical history or mythology. The 
faot that the sublects of the plaques are not 
shown indicates that the design was a preliminary 
one. lts relatively good state of preservation also 
suggests that it was never used ln the Workshop. 
We know from Thomas's investigations of the 
drawings for armour lrom the Workshop of Etienne 
Delaune" that the designs used by the armourer 
when decorating his plates were executed in red 
chalk and less oarefully finished. These designs, 
which are preserved in the Staatliche Graphische 
Sammlung, Munich, are approximately contempo- 
rary With the Vienna drawing and represent anoth- 
er aspect of the same northern Mannerist fashion. 
A number of them have been identified by Thomas 
as designs for armours of Henry ll, some of Which 
were, hoWever, never executed on account of the 
kingks premature death in 1559. In his studies of 
the Delaune designs Thomas gives a detailed ac- 
count of the serles of shields of oval, pointed or 
oartouohe form connected with the French kingß. 
Their composltlon ls fairly consistent and shows a 
oentra! panel or panels within a wide border filled 
With an interlaolng band enclosing trophies of 
arms alternating With bunches ot frult, Interrupted 
above and below by figures of manacled pris- 
oners, While the centre point at iop and bottom is 
marked by a grotesque mask. The composition of 
16 
1 
the Vienna design follows this model. Two of the 
Delaune drawings are particularly olose to this de- 
sln, showing the same pointed proflle and the 
decoration of trophles of arms alternatlng With 
bunches of fruit, whlle at the base are figures 
wlthln strapwork and a grotesque mask. One has 
been identified by Thomas as a prelimlnary design 
for a shield wrought for King Henri ll which is now 
In the Metropolitan Museum, New Yorkt This 
drawing shows the detalls of the ornament con- 
talned wlthin a continuous interlacing strap or 
band of Flechtwerk, Whereas in the second draw- 
lng (tlg. 3) this band is rendered In higher relief 
wlth Rollwerk termlnals. Rollwerk is also a feature 
of the Vienna design, though the relief is less 
marked and the scale smaller. Furthermore, ln place 
of the puny nude prlsoners of the Munich draw- 
lngs, the Vienna design shows Roman officers 
whose hands and one foot are bound to the ends 
of strapwork scrolls. Slmilar bound figures are to 
be seen on some of the extant shields in the 
French series, as, for instance the Skokloster 
shieldä and it seems probable that the master of 
the Vienna drawing drew his inspiratlon from an 
actual shield rather than from one of the Munich 
drawings. 
Delaune's armour designs had considerable intlu- 
ence outside the French court circle, in particular 
in the city of AntWerp, where they were followed 
by the goldsmith, Eliseus Libbaerts, who decorat- 
ed two superb armours for Eric XIV, klng of Swe- 
den, which after ourious peregrinatlons ended up 
in the Historisches Museum, Dresden". The close 
relationship with Delaune": designs, which adapt- 
ed the Fontainebleau style to the needs of the ar- 
mourer, is readily explicable, for numerous Ant- 
werp graphic masters had Worked in Fontaine- 
bleau and publlshed prints after the Fontaine- 
bleau decorations on their return to thelr native 
city. Libbaerts mostly adhered to the Delaune 
manner, but sometlmes shoWed a preference for 
the typical Netherlandlsh Rollwerk ornamen 
er than the Flechtwerk which frames the 
ment of the French armours. Libbaerts L 
Rollwerk cartouches is most evident on the 
armour he decorated for King Eric XIV of SVl 
The style of the Vienna drawing, unlike tt 
laune drawings, does not derive directly fron 
talnebleau but rather from the Netherlandis 
sion of that style. The Netherlandish origin 
drawlng has long been recognised for, aroul 
lower edge of the missing central panel is l 
scription, presumably intended to pass as a: 
ture: Col. Lart. The style of the lettering dOl 
aocord with the apparent period of the dre 
circa 1550 to 1580, and this attribution to th 
werp family of engravers, Collaert, is unoo 
ing. Whlle Hans Collaert and his son of the 
name are best known as engravers of jewelle 
signs, Adriaen Collaert (1560-1618) worke: 
later manner than that exhibited in the Flollw 
the Vienna drawing. The chief protagonlsts a 
the Flemish masters of Mannerist ornamen 
ed on Fontainebleau were Cornelis Flori: 
Hans Vredeman de Vries, both ot AntWerpY. 
absence ot positive evidence that either of 
masters produced armour designs, it would l 
wise to make a positive attribution to one 4 
other. However, just as Etlenne Delaune w: 
trusted With the designs for decorating tl 
mours ot King Henri ll o1 France, so also is it 
that a commission for work of comparable: 
dour in the Netherlands would have gone tot 
the leading masters of ornament or to a me 
of his Workshop. While the Fiollwerk frarne 
cartouches of the drawing are close to the 
style, those of other Netherlandish armours. 
ments of armour such as the shield (fig. 4) se 
derlve from the engravings of Vredeman de 
lt is not difficult to place the Vienna drawing 
context; it clearly belongs to the group of an 
of Flemish origin, of which only one bears a:
	        

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