Tuesday, 8 November 2011

a horse led, called le cheval de deuil, covered in black velvet

Sully, in his Memoirs [iii 143] says: ‘I made a present in the name of his most Christian Majesty to the King of England, of six beautiful horses, richly caparisoned, and the Sieur de S. Anthoine as riding master’. Sully also presented Prince Henry with a lance and helmet of gold, enriched with diamonds; together with a fencing master, and a vaulter or tumbler.
On the death of Prince Henry in 1612, the French Equerry, Mons. St. Anthoine, led a mourning horse – the cheval de deuil – in the funeral procession. He then became Equerry to Charles and is represented holding his helmet in Vandyke’s equestrian portrait. It was later engraved by Lombart, who substituted the head of Cromwell for Charles'.

After Cromwell's death in 1658, Lombart burnished out his head, and substituted a portrait of Louis XIV (reigned 1643-1715), the King of France. Subsequently, Louis was scraped out and Cromwell's head re-engraved. Later again, probably after Lombart's death, Charles I's portrait was restored, but in the final state of the plate, Cromwell's portrait reappears for the last time. Throughout these alterations, the horse and rider, with commander's baton and elegant armour, were left unchanged.

No comments:

Post a Comment