Are historical military paintings reliable depicting the warfare of its period?

Dec 2016
92
Spain
#1
I admire and like most of the military paintings from 16th century to 18th century and those are the only visual references I can have to see how the warfare were from these periods of history. How accurate they are depicting the warfare of its time? The following examples are some of my favourite battle paintings ranging 16th century to 18th century:

Battle of White Mountain (Thirty Years War) 1620 - Oil painting by Peter Snayers (1592–1667)

Battle of White Mountain - Wikipedia

Battle of Fontenoy (War of Austrian Succession) 1745 - Painting by Pierre L'Enfant (1704 – 1787)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/81/Battle_of_Fontenoy_1745_1.PNG

Battle of Lepanto 1571 - Painting by Paolo Veronese, c.1572

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/Battle_of_Lepanto_1571.jpg
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,514
#3
Paintings were almost always commissioned by people with a substantial political interest in the depiction, paintings are prices of political propaganda, taht is why they were commissioned.

The Painting may lack technical understanding of what is depicted, and often not present at the actual scene.

Napooen crossing the Alps for example, he crossed on mule after the army had crossed. Resemeblance between teh painting and teh actual event was non existent.
 
Likes: Edratman
Feb 2016
4,227
Japan
#4
Mostly no.
I believe Louis Francoise Lejune may be amongst the most accurate... and quite a few officers made sketches of soldiers which are “real”.

But many were made by people who hadn’t been there, seen it or done it or as others have said to please a certain audience/sponsor.
 

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