Charles Meer Webb
A Soldier of the Thirty Years' War
Oil on canvas. 98.5 x 104 cm.
Signed and dated lower left: CWebb. 1853 (C and W joined).
In this work we encounter Charles Meer Webb, who is primarily known for his jovial genre paintings, from a more serious side. It shows a soldier reloading his gun before a background of ruined buildings and graves. His clothing identifies the scene as taking place during the Thirty Years' War. The skull by the soldier's feet presents a drastic reference to the horrors of war. Both the serious topic of the work and the fact that it takes place outdoors make the work highly unusual in Webb's oeuvre, as he generally painted interiors. The work is dated 1853, making it a very early piece dating from shortly after Webb left the Düsseldorf Academy to become a private pupil of Wilhelm Camphausen.
Purchased from the artist, subsequently in family ownership.