Monday, January 9, 2017

Francis I and Montmorency Surveying the Investment of Pavia, October 1524 - 4th Submission to AHPC VII


For our 'Armour' theme, I've returned to the Italian Wars with a vignette of Francis I of France overseeing the investment of Pavia, October 1524. 


Francis is seen here with his helmet under his arm, discussing the proposed dispositions of the French siege with one of his advisors, Montmorency, Marshal of France. The two men have recently arrived in front of the city and have placed a map of Pavia on a makeshift table made from a wagon wheel set on a tree stump. A pair of Francis' hunting dogs, Alaunts (a breed now sadly extinct), are at his side.  His banner-bearer, bored out of his mind, stands at the rear, holding the Royal Standard. Francis' attendants have brought out a stool with a refreshment of wine in pewter goblets.


Francis' figure is roughly based on an oil-on-wood painting from an unknown artist which was contemporary to the battle. In the painting he is depicted wearing gold armour with a red surcoat emblazoned with a large central cross. 


I kept the red surcoat, but instead painted him in his tournament armour, which in real life is  beautifully detailed with representations of fleur de lis on the knees, elbows and helmet (which, of course, nobody can see now due to the placement of the figures. Doh!). Francis' armour can be seen today at the musée de l’Armée, Les Invalides. 


The figures of Francis, Montmorency and his standard bearer are from the very talented Oliver James over at Steel Fist Miniatures.  These were part of a Kickstarter which I participated in a year or so ago and are now available on his website.


The two Alaunts were sculpted by Steve May as a private commission for Simon over at le Jay Emprins, who kindly provided me with a couple sets (Thanks Simon!).


Alaunts at the kill of a wild boar from The Grimami Breviary, 1490
The tree stump, wagon wheel, stool, wine bottle and goblets I printed off on my 3D printer (I LOVE that thing).


Francis' brave banner is from Pete's Flags.

As a historical postscript, the French siege of Pavia went on too long and a Imperialist relief force was dispatched to attempt to raise the siege. After a bold night march, the Spanish Imperial army smashed Francis' forces on 24th February, 1525. As the ultimate disgrace, Francis himself was captured and sent to Spain as a prisoner to negotiate his own release.

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Next Up: I think something from Indochina is in order.

35 comments:

  1. Dude, that is off tha HOOK! It's like the freshest thing since fresh came to freshtown. I can't get over how beautiful these little vignettes you're putting together are!

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    1. Gee, Tim, that's really very kind of you. I'm delighted that you like them as much as I enjoyed putting them together. The Italian Wars are a fairly new interest, but the period facsinates me - it's so colourful and chaotically full of life that it inspires both the brushes and brain cells. :)

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  2. Absolutely fantastic work! Thank you for it. Excellent role model.

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  3. This is a joy to behold Curt, a real gem.

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    1. Cheers Michael, it's not Victorian but you should really give this period a go. I'd love you see your excellent brushwork on these.

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  4. But Francis' investment of Pavia was to prove a very risky investment, with a very unsatisfactory return...

    Love your work, Curt!

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    1. Yes, his Italian portfolio went bust on this gambit.

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  5. Very nice indeed. Looking forward to some Indochina stuff too... ;)

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  6. Outstanding work Curt! I also enjoy the little extras your able to add.

    Christopher

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    1. Thank you Christopher. I like cramming in little details to help tell the story.

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you Simon! I hope to include him in a future game of TtS. :)

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  8. Wonderful vignette, Curt! Very evocative of the period.

    I also participated in that KS; the sculpts are excellent.

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    1. They are excellent, aren't they. Did you participate in the mounted knights as well. I'm looking forward to those.

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  9. Lovely work, a fantastic vignette and surely should count towards our side challenge?
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you very much Iain. I suppose he would, wouldn't he.

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  10. Well that really is a delight to behold, excellent work !

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  11. What a brilliant rendition of a great leader. Isn't he the same French king as the one who features in the "The Tudors" TV series?

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  12. Thanks Sander. Yes, the very same.

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  13. Was he really that erm feminine as he was put down in the Series? Assuming you've read up on him that is, seeing as you have done a sterling job with the background.

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    1. I'm not sure, but knowing how they tarted up the rest of history in that show I suspect they may have taken some liberties with Francis.

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    2. well possibly not as bad as they did with his grandson in the movie "Elisabeth I" that really was a drag of a movie, pun intended ;-)

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  14. How do you get such crisp black backgrounds for your photography?

    Your painting is superb, but the background makes them pop. That is always something that has held back my paint blogging during the year - not feeling the photography is up to scratch.

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    1. Velvet, the appropriate exposure settings on the camera and a lot of trial-and-error.

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  15. Spectacular and inspiring! Perfectly Tarted!
    Cheers
    Ths

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  16. Incredible detail, love it. The wee dogs help make the scene.

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    1. Thank you Paul! Great to hear from you.

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