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Jacob Weier, Cavalry attacked by Infantry

Key facts
Full title Cavalry attacked by Infantry
Artist Jacob Weier
Artist dates active 1645; died 1670
Date made 1645
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 38.4 × 60.2 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Presented by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, 1896
Inventory number NG1470
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Cavalry attacked by Infantry
Jacob Weier

Weier, who trained in Holland, specialised in battle scenes. This one is typical of the pictures he made in imitation of the Dutch painter Philips Wouwerman. Compare it for example with Wouwerman’s frenetic battle scene, Cavalry making a Sortie from a Fort on a Hill, which is also in the National Gallery’s collection.

A group of soldiers on horseback have been penned in by infantry, who aim their weapons at the encircled group. The light is concentrated on the grey horse in the foreground that rears up in panic. Its rider, with his elaborately plumed hat, must be the commander of the besieged forces.

Weier’s signature and the date 1645 are faintly visible beneath the sword of the man kneeling in the right foreground. This is one of two pictures of this date, which are the earliest evidence of Weier’s career as an artist.

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