Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rocroi, the Last Tercio

Title: Rocroi, el último tercio (Rocroi, the last tercio)
Artist: Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau
Date: 2011

Rocroi, The Last Tercio (2011) by the contemporary artists Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau is on display from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Rocroi, The Last Tercio depicts the defeat of the Spanish army in the Battle of Rocroi against the French. The Battle of Rocroi occurred near the end of the Thirty Years' War and is an important battle in world history. The French defeat of the Spanish army marks the end to a century and a half of battles won by the Spanish army7.  Interestingly however, unlike in The Surrender of Breda by Velazquez, Ferrer-Dalmau only paints the Spanish army. The last tercio, or the last third of the Spanish army stands together proud and defiant as they await the French artillery. Even though Spain suffered a massive loss, within the painting, Spain can be seen as still having dignity. By only showing the bravery of the Spanish army and not the victorious French army, makes the viewer almost believe that Spain had won the Battle of Rocroi. The attention to detail as well as the long lances is very similar to Velazquez's representation of the surrender of the city of Breda. After waging wars and other military campaigns for around 150 years, Spain had finally abused their power and spread themselves too thin. Once the French had defeated the Spanish army, Spain would no longer live in a Golden Age.

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