Napoleonic Soldier, Nuremberg -Early 19th-century watercolour painting & etching

An original early 19th-century watercolour painting, Napoleonic Soldier, Nuremberg.

An exquisitely painted small work depicting a soldier of the Napoleonic Wars, with the city of Nuremberg in the background. The churches of St Lorenz and St Sebaldus are visible in the distance. This work is a curious combination of engraving and hand-painting: the figure of the soldier is finely engraved and hand-coloured, whilst the landscape (background sky, cityscape and foreground vegetation) is original hand-painting in gouache.

This image has particular resonance because of the fall of Nuremberg at this time, from its status as a powerful independent city-state of the Holy Roman Empire (and home of the Empire’s crown and sceptre). Invaded by French troops in 1796, the city was, by 1806, virtually bankrupt and absorbed into the new Kingdom of Bavaria.

Paradoxically, despite the city’s decline, Nuremberg played an important role in the emergence of German Romanticism, and concepts of Nuremberg had a profound impact on European intellectual history. Nuremberg was by far the best preserved of Germany’s major medieval cities, and as such, a new appreciation of the city marked a transition from a taste for the Enlightenment to Romanticism in Germany.

On laid paper. Trimmed to the image and laid down on backing paper.

The paper has some age toning and marks as shown. There is a short closed tear to the left edge, which has been shored up by the backing paper.
9.6cm x 7.4cm.

Text copyright © 2017 Somerset & Wood Fine Art Ltd. All rights reserved.

Product code: JH-609

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