Design for the Title Page of "The Exercise of Cavalry"

Object Details

Title:

Design for the Title Page of "The Exercise of Cavalry"

Artist/Maker(s):

Jacques de Gheyn II (Dutch, 1565 - 1629)

Culture:

Dutch

Date:

1598 - 1599

Medium:

Pen and brown ink, brush with gray wash; incised for transfer

Dimensions:

15.6 x 20.6 cm (6 1/8 x 8 1/8 in.)

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An armored and an unarmored cavalryman lean against the frame of an empty cartouche that pliantly melts into grotesque strapwork. A witty arrangement of equestrian accouterments decorates the top and bottom, including a saddle laden with weapons, flags, stirrups, a curry comb, and other brushes. A laurel-crowned skull and smoking trumpets below symbolize death and fame. The guns and blades that extend up and down from the cartouche evoke the battle charge and give a three-dimensional depth to the scene.

Jacques de Gheyn drew this elaborate frame as a model in reverse for the title page of The Exercise of Arms, published in 1607. Conceived as a military handbook for the cavalry regiments of the Dutch army, The Exercise of Armscontained twenty-two designs. Count Johann II of Nassau-Siegen commissioned the text to give the Dutch horse guards a set of clear and systematic military procedures for training soldiers.

Exhibitions
16th Century Northern European Drawings (February 18 to May 2, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), February 18 to May 2, 1992
16th Century Ornamental Drawings (June 1 to August 14, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), June 1 to August 14, 1994
Dutch Drawings of the Golden Age (May 28 to August 25, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 28 to August 25, 2002
The Secret Life of Drawings (November 23, 2010 to February 13, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 23, 2010 to February 13, 2011