"30 Years War" by Jacques Courtois
Oil on Canvas
Born: 1621 - Saint Hippolyte, France
The true aim of a battle scene painter in the seventeenth century, was to create the sense that when viewing the painting, the viewer felt they were in the center of the action. At a time when military skill was held in such high regard these scenes glorified war and action and displayed the drama of human endeavor, as well as boasting of skill-full battlefield logistics and maneuvers.
Jacques Courtois trained, at first, under his artist father before traveling to Italy and serving in the French military. Battle-scenes drew him back to art and it was within this genre that he was to find his subject and develop his oeuvre. He quickly achieved success, depicting with precision and flair the battle exploits of wealthy patrons from Tuscany and Venice.
His work can also be found in many churches in Italy as he turned to religion later in life. Courtois was known for working alla prima from rapid pen sketches, a quick fierce approach that mirrors the action he depicted. Considered a master within the battle-scene genre, his talent was positively recognized by his painter peers.