Saturday, January 3, 2009

Berthier- Napoleon's "Indispensable Marshal"

Louis-Alexandre Berthier. I was at first inspired to do a figure based on the illustration of him in a fanciful, caricature pose. The more I read about him I found a very interesting character. From what I found, Berthier in reality, was a short, portly man who had a habit of biting his nails. But he impressed a young Napoleon enough with his organizational skills to be named one of eighteen Marshals of France at the beginning of Napoleon's reign. (More on Berthier the man later).

The Figure: From the illustrations of him, he a had a noticable cleft in his chin. Along with wavy, curly hair he will make a neat figure. I started by carving away on a Hornet head. I added a new forehead, eyes, nose and a chin with cleft.
Good ingredients for a fanciful study. The uniform was a bigger challenge. More on that later too.

Thanks for following. Stay tuned.


Gary Dombrowski said...

Jason, Fantastic. I think you really managed to render the sash and uniform just as it is in the period paintings. That will be a super elegant figure once it's painted. ~Gary

Jason said...

Thanks pard. It was tough trying to sculpt the tie in the sash because there's really no clear picture of what one looks like. I'm sure there were different styles so I picked something that looked gaudy enough to resemble what references I have.

Joe said...

Hey Jason,

I think this might be your best figure yet. I like the fullness of the figure, along with the detail work.


david spacek said...

First of all I must say I’m a great fan of your works, which I’m founding as always very inspiring.
Reading your latest post I’ve found out that your next plan is young Paul Hindenburg from Austro-Prussian war of 1866. Well this is my most favorite period since most of the battles were within area of my home (Czech republic).
It is not so easy to find some good paintings and references about this, but after certain time I was able to collect some.
So to make it shorter, any sort of reference help you might need about this please let me know your e-mail and I’ll try to find it.

David Spacek

Jason said...

Thanks Joe!

David, I may take you up on that.

I had planned a vignette depicting the young Hindenburg just as his men over run an Austrian battery. But I cannot find any reliable reference for Autrian gunner's uniforms. Would you happen to have good references for such troops?

david spacek said...

Hello Jason,
Yes on the battle field of Hradec Kralove (Konigsgratz 3. July 1866 biggest and decisive battle of war 1866 - after Napoleons Lipzig battle the biggest European battle of 19. century), huge monument of so called “Battery of dead” is one of the dominating place for the whole battlefield. It was a place where one battery decide to hold the ground against Prussian Guards attacking from the domination place of village Chlum, which was practically centre of Austrian position. Except one gun and its crew, which managed to retreat, all the man and horses were killed by Prussians.
There is a very nice painting of Carl Rochling depicting this incident from Prussian side and one from Austrian side painted by Vaclav Sochor.
I have both of them and off course I can give you the uniform references for the gunners as well.
Please send me your contacts to my e-mail address bellow:


Radek Pituch said...

Hi Jason
Berthier is coming along nicely. neat figure. I like the pose as well.
By the way, have you recieved my email?



Jason said...

Hi Radek.

Yes, received your e-mail and replied. I'll shoot you another.

Radek Pituch said...

Jason, I didn't receive anything.
Dunno what's wrong :/