Long before there were photographs or moving pictures, battles and military skirmishes were captured for posterity via an artist's brush, pencil or pen. War art, as this genre would come to be known, combines first hand experience with the recollections of the participants. Not all of the war paintings we’ve encountered are 100% accurate as to how history has recorded the event. Some of the paintings may unfortunately include a bit of poetic license taken by the artist in perhaps an attempt to flatter their patrons. Other artists may have simply not known what really took place. After all, how much would an artist from Vienna, born 13 years after a battle, truly know about the life within the enemy encampment outside of their city.
At the moment, The Famous Artists has a very limited collection of war art. All of it was painted by the Viennese painter August Querfurt (1696-1761). That makes sense really, since Querfurt almost exclusively painted military and war art. At least one of the battles depicted in his paintings took place before he was born, so we know that the level of historical accuracy of his work is totally dependent on any war art he may have seen or the memories of men who participated.
Along with some information about each artist, I hope to include background information on the battle or event that each piece of war art depicts. In my mind, that makes the painting more interesting and answers the questions I would ask about the painting – at least those I could find the answers for.