PALAMEDESZ., Palamedes
(b. 1607, London, d. 1638, Delft)

Cavalry Battle

Oil on panel, 53 x 78 cm
Stockholms Universitet Konstsamling, Stockholm

This battle scene offers a close-up view of a particularly violent engagement. Soldiers on horseback are locked in single combat, some with their sword drawn and others firing pistols at their opponents. The air is heavy with fumes and powder smoke. The prominent white horse seen from behind carrying a rider who fires a pistol appears in several other works by Palamedesz.

As is characteristic of battle paintings by Palamedesz, the scene includes no identifiable individuals or parties. This is in marked contrast to the sixteenth-century tradition of battle pictures in Italy and Germany, where greater emphasis is given to the heroism of specific soldiers and military leaders.