17th century French school attributed to Jean Baptiste Martin des batailles (1659, 1735)
Louis XIV's army at the gates of a city in Flanders
Canvas formerly re-lined of 93 cm by 74 cm
Old frame of 108 cm by 88 cm
This superb very well framed canvas certainly represents a scene from the war of the League of Augsburg (1688, 1697)
We see the French army encampment on a hill overlooking a fortified city from which an army of soldiers emerges that a soldier from the encampment seems to point the finger at. Two prisoners are brought in while the officers on their mounts discuss, which is also the case, fiercely, of two dogs in the foreground.
This work offers us a large number of characters executed in the smallest details of the costumes of course but also the expressions of the faces, the looks, all bathed in a very beautiful light. The horses are also remarkable and again with varied and neat postures and expressions. Superb.
Jean-Baptiste Martin, nicknamed "Martin des batailles" or "Martin des Gobelins", is a French painter born in 1659 in Paris where he died in 1735.
Painter to the king and director of the Gobelins factory, he specializes in battle scenes.
He studied with the mathematician Philippe de La Hyre, then the art of fortifications. As such, he was sent as a draftsman to Vauban who then recommended him to Louis XIV who awarded him a pension.
He is asked to collaborate with Adam François van der Meulen as the first painter of the king's conquests. After the death of Van der Meulen in 1690, he was deemed worthy to succeed him.
He therefore follows the king's battles from 1688 and notably accompanies the Dauphin on the battlefields in 1688 and 1689 then Louis XIV at the siege of Mons in 1691 and Namur in 1692 ...
The king appointed him director of the royal Gobelins manufacture, he then painted most of the decorative paintings of Versailles and many royal residences such as Marly for example.
Jean Baptiste Martin produced a considerable number of works, in particular large wall decorations in the four refectories of the Invalides, retracing the conquests of Louis XIV in Holland.
Duke Leopold of Lorraine called on him. He then reorganized the Nancy tapestry factory and produced a series of twenty paintings dedicated to Charles V for the gallery of the castle of Lunéville.
His brother Pierre Denis Martin (1663, 1742) known as “Martin the Younger” is also a painter, a pupil of van der Meulen, who specialized in the representation of royal castles. The son of John the Baptist, John the Baptist II also called “John the Baptist the Younger” or “Martin the Son”, is also a painter and engraver, collaborator of his father and his uncle.