AEGIDIUS SADELER THE YOUNGER

1570 Antwerp – Prague 1629

Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, Count of Bucquoy, Baron of Vaux 1626


engraving; 404 x 266 mm (15 7/8 x 10 7/16 inches)

Hollstein 301 first state (of three)

PROVENANCE
Friedrich Quiring, Eberswalde (Lugt 1041c)

A fine, early impression; trimmed on the platemark all round with a narrow paper margin remaining beyond the composition.

Charles de Longueval (1571 Arras – Neuhäusel [Nové Zámky] 1621) was an important military commander who fought for the Habsburg Netherlands during the Eighty Years’ War and for the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years’ War, ultimately becoming the commander of the imperial forces. He was richly rewarded with estates by Emperor Ferdinand II. The lower left of the composition depicts what was probably Charles’s most significant victory, at the Battle of White Mountain on November 8, 1620.

The print itself was most likely a memorial image published after Charles was killed during the siege of Neuhäusel on July 10, 1621. His funeral, with full honors, took place in the Franciscan Church in Vienna on July 31, 1621.

A fabulous oil-sketch by Rubens in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg shows a portrait of Charles in an elaborate allegorical frame. Sadeler appears to have borrowed some motifs from Rubens’s composition. Rubens’s supine model might also be the reason for a noticeable discrepancy within the composition. The complex allegorical frame allows Sadeler to demonstrate his considerable skill as a printmaker. The two young angels above the portrait medallion and the group of bound prisoners at the lower right have all the verve and bravura of the most lavish Northern Mannerism. The portrait of unfortunate Count of Bucquoy, however, even if explicitly denoted by Sadeler as having been “ad vivum delineavit,” is rather stiff and pedestrian (a judgement not intended as a comment on the field marshal’s looks but on the burin work of the engraver).