Scene showing a squadron of Hussars
Trakošćan, Varaždin County, Croatia
Tempera on canvas with a frame of coloured wood
H: 277 cm; w: 163 cm
Found in Trakošćan Castle when it became a museum in 1953
Canvas wall covering; part of a wall painting
At the time of Count Kazimir Drašković (1716–1765) part of his banderium was barracked in Trakošćan. His military biography during the reign of Empress Maria Theresia still decorates the rooms and inventory of Trakošćan Castle. He began his service in the Austrian army in 1734, and fought on the battlefields of Europe. His courage was notable on both the Italian and German battlefields in the war of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748) and in the Seven Years' War (1756–1763). In 1763, promoted to artillery general, he then became a commanding general in Transylvania. He was decorated with the highest military order of the Austrian Empire – the Commander Cross of Maria Theresia. There are many items from his time in Trakošćan Castle: portraits of army officers, family members, flags and other material, and particularly wall paintings in the military cabinet on the second floor. The room has canvas wall coverings that give a complete picture of Count Drašković’s military units in the mid-18th century. The large painting consists of 11 parts; the eight larger ones show the banderium on parade, composed of 821 people; and the three smaller ones show military symbols, cannon, lances, drums and flags. The paintings are realistic and show in detail the soldiers' uniforms, weapons and the distribution of the units and their parts. A schematic presentation, the soldiers have no personal characteristics, but are portrayed according to type with dark moustaches and red cheeks while the infantry units are faithfully rendered; the soldiers distributed in two companies of fusiliers and one of grenadiers. The staff includes hunters, musicians, guards and a canteen, a surgeon and NCOs. Especially interesting is the small band: the first painting of a military band in Croatia. This was the count's own professional band, which played at his castle during peacetime. It consisted of eight wind instrumentalists: four oboists, two fagottists and two horn players. It also had a tambour major. The cavalry has two squadrons of Dragons and three squadrons of Hussars. The scene shown here is the light cavalry of the Hussars, three troops placed one behind the other in two rows each. They are dressed in blue dolmans, red trousers, brown cloaks and light-brown boots. On their heads, they have busbies.View Short Description
In a landscape are three double rows of cavalry in blue uniforms led by officers mounted on white horses. There are several houses above the units. This scene, painted on canvas wall hangings, is part of a series depicting military units, which covered one of the rooms of Trakošćan Castle. Croatia's most important aristocratic family, the Counts Drašković, owned the castle. General Count Kazimir Drašković, from whose time these hangings date, had a distinguished military career and was decorated with the highest military order of the Austrian Empire – the Commander Cross of Maria Theresia.
Analysis of style and comparison with the Small Genealogy of the Drašković family.
The wall painting was made either to fit the wall of another room in Trakošćan Castle or some other building that belonged to the Counts Drašković, and was later adapted to fit the cabinet, probably when Trakošćan Castle was renovated in the second half of the 19th century.
Krznar, S., Mravlinčić, I., Trakošćan – burg-muzej (Trakošćan – a Museum Castle), Trakošćan, 2007.
Barok u Hrvatskoj (Baroque in Croatia), exhibition catalogue, Zagreb, 1993.
Ivan Mravlinčić, Nela Tarbuk "Scene showing a squadron of Hussars" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.discoverbaroqueart.org/database_item.php?id=object;BAR;hr;Mus11_A;26;en
Prepared by: Ivan MravlinčićIvan Mravlinčić
AFFILIATION: Trakošćan Castle, Trakošćan, Croatia
TITLE: Museum Curator
Ivan Mravlinčić was awarded his BA in History and History of Art (Faculty of Philosophy) Zagreb in 1995. Since then, he has been employed at Trakošćan Castle and has recently participated in drawing up the designs and implementing the changes to the permanent display., Nela Tarbuk Nela Tarbuk
AFFILIATION: Museum of Arts and Crafts, Zagreb, Croatia
TITLE: Museum Counsellor, Head of the Sacral Sculpture, Ivory and Musical
Nela Tarbuk was awarded her BA in Art History and Comparative Literature from Zagreb University (Faculty of Philosophy). As head of the Museum if Arts and Craft’s Sculpture, Ivory and Musical Instruments collections, she has curated several exhibitions and written many articles. Her special research interests focus on sacral furniture. Exhibition catalogues include Culture of the Paulines in Croatia (1989), Jesuit Heritage in Croatia (1992), Peace and Virtue (2000), Hidden Treasures (2005) and Musical Instruments from the Holdings of the Museum of Arts and Crafts (2007).
Translation by: Nikolina Jovanović
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: HR 26
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Discover Baroque Art Exhibition(s)The Ascension of the Bourgeoisie | The Bourgeois Gentleman
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