Height: 547.000 mm
Width: 360.000 mm
PD 1935-4-13-50 (Louis XIV);PD 1935-4-13-51 (Oliver Cromwell);PD 1935-4-13-52 (Charles I)
Prints and Drawings
Pierre Lombart, The Headless Horseman, engravings
London, AD 1655, and Paris after AD 1660
Engraved equestrian portraits of three different rulers
These three signed portraits were all printed from the same copper plate by Pierre Lombart (1613-82), a French engraver who worked in London between 1650 and 1660. The changing identity of the subject mirrors the political turmoil in England after the Civil War and the execution of King Charles I in 1649 (reigned from 1625).
After Cromwell's death in 1658, Lombart burnished out his head, and substituted a portrait of Louis XIV (reigned 1643-1715), the King of France. Subsequently, Louis was scraped out and Cromwell's head re-engraved. Later again, probably after Lombart's death, Charles I's portrait was restored, but in the final state of the plate, Cromwell's portrait reappears for the last time. Throughout these alterations, the horse and rider, with commander's baton and elegant armour, were left unchanged.
M. Jones (ed.), Fake?: the art of deception, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)
A. Griffiths, The print in Stuart Britain, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1998)